The Overstory on Netflix: what we know about the series so far

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Sculpture of an insect on the Brienz woodcarving trail in the woods
Pondering life on a hiking trail above Brienz in the Swiss Alps

For me, The Overstory by Richard Powers was the kind of book that the price tag doesn’t justify; a piece of writing that somehow adjusts the workings of my brain and my outlook on the world… yeah, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Powers’ bestselling novel centres on five trees that align with the lives of nine diverse Americans, ultimately tightening the threads between these characters and motivating them to protect and fight for our delicate natural world.

The Overstory

Since reading the Pulitzer Prize winner of 2019, I’ve never quite looked at trees in the same way. And after finding out that Netflix will adapt The Overstory to a series (announced in February 2021), I hope this will only add to my love for the book.

Hearing that one of your favourite books will be adapted to the screen can be both a blessing and a curse, hingeing on the success and faithfulness of the adaptation – but also on your idea of what’s accurate according to your own imagination.

How will it be with The Overstory? Right now, it’s too early to find out. But here’s what we know about The Overstory adaptation on Netflix so far to start setting our expectations…

What we know about The Overstory on Netflix

The job of adapting The Overstory is in experienced hands: those of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, best known as the creators of Game of Thrones. (When I told my husband this, he replied oh, god. It could go either way with them, he said.)

There’s no current expected release date or production date. Perhaps we can expect The Overstory to come to screens in 2023-2024, but hopefully we’ll find out more about the series soon.

Hugh Jackman will also executive produce along with Bernie Caulfield of Benioff and Weiss’s Bighead Littlehead production banner. Richard Powers is set to serve as co-executive producer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, Jackman is reportedly a fan of the novel, as is Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. Netflix describes the novel as “a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of the natural world.” 

“It tells the story of a world alongside ours that is vast, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive and almost invisible to us,” the announcement on Deadline shared in February 2021. “A handful of disparate people learn how to see that world and are drawn into its unfolding catastrophe.”

At a time when news sites quip “another day, another cancellation from Netflix,” fingers crossed we’ll hear more updates soon about The Overstory series.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are also writers and executive producers on the Netflix series adaptation of the sci-fi book trilogy The Three-Body Problem, as part of a nine-figure deal they signed with Netflix in 2019.

What to read while you’re waiting for The Overstory on Netflix

At this stage, we have no real idea of when The Overstory might be released on Netlix. But there are plenty of fantastic books to read in the meantime.

Start by reading or re-reading The Overstory, and continue with these similarly beautiful books about trees.

One of my favourite books like The Overstory is Greenwood by Michael Christie, a gorgeous multi-generational novel about trees, our changing climate, the twists and turns of fortune, and doing the right thing.

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