Warner Bros. isn’t flat-out scrambling to find a replacement for the Harry Potter franchise once the final film in the series hits theaters this summer; still, the studio is definitely on the lookout for a new fantasy series that will appeal to the young adult demographic that made the teen wizard movies such a cash cow.
That, in part, explains why Warner Bros. has picked up the screen rights to the Oscar Pill fantasy series for Potter producer David Heyman’s Heyday Films – in the hopes of striking cinematic gold again.
French author Eli Anderson wrote the original Oscar Pill novels, which The Wrap has confirmed will be given the big screen treatment soon enough. Much like J.K. Rowling’s Potter books wrap fantasy genre elements around a complex coming-of-age storyline, Anderson’s creation revolves around a teen boy – the titular Mr. Pill – who comes into his own after discovering he possesses magical powers.
It turns out that Oscar Pill has a very specific supernatural ability: being a special kind of sorcerer known as a “Medicus,” he can travel within other people and living organisms alike. Pill is (not surprisingly) also destined to travel across “five worlds of the human body” on a quest to destroy evil diseases and infections. Make of that what you will.
Oscar Pill isn’t the only film series in development that hopes to acquire Potter‘s box office crown after this year. Warner Bros. is also all set to officially greenlight an adaptation of “The Spook’s Apprentice”, which has been retitled The Seventh Son – and 20th Century Fox is moving forward with a second Percy Jackson movie, clearly hoping for better financial returns in the post-Potter age.
There’s also an adaptation of The Maze Runner in the works, but that young adult fantasy series looks to be more focused on becoming the successor to The Twilight Saga – quite literally, since Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke is directing it – and less interested in appealing to the Potter crowd. If any upcoming literary adaptation is poised to draw in both Harry Potter and Bella Swan fans, it’s Lionsgate’s cinematic version of The Hunger Games.
A handful of young adult fantasy books-turned-movie series have attempted to replicate Potter‘s success in the past – with decidedly mixed results. Titles like The Golden Compass and The Spiderwick Chronicles only did moderate business at the box office, while The Chronicles of Narnia has seen its returns diminish significantly with each subsequent film released.
Will Oscar Pill buck that trend? We’ll have to wait and see (though I wouldn’t count on it).
Source: The Wrap