Fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series have been hearing rumors of his works being adapted for film and other media for years. There have been a few television adaptations over the years, but so far there hasn’t been an actual film version of a Discworld story. That may finally change, however.
The Jim Henson Company is adapting Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men, which is a “story of Discworld” (meaning that it was created for younger audiences) and the first book in the Tiffany Aching series. The film is being written by Pratchett’s daughter, Rhianna Pratchett, who is best known for her video game work in games such as the Tomb Raider reboot and Heavenly Sword.
The Wee Free Men tells the story of nine-year-old Tiffany Aching and her discovery of the Nac Mac Feegles, six-inch-tall blue men who wear kilts and are known to be fairly rough and rowdy. Tiffany seems to be the only one who can see them, and has to get their aid when her brother is kidnapped by the Queen of the Fairies. Venturing into the Queen’s domain, Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegles (along with the son of the local Baron) have to overcome the Queen’s tricks to rescue Tiffany’s brother.
The film will be The Jim Henson Company’s first foray into feature-length fantasy since 2005’s Mirrormask, as most of the company’s productions in recent years have been focused on television and productions under the Henson Alternative label. Pratchett is glad to see the Henson Company onboard to help bring her father’s work to life, saying “I’ve loved the Jim Henson Company’s work all my life, so it’s a great honor to team up with them and bring Wee Free Men to the big screen.” On Henson’s side, Chairman Brian Henson commented that “As a family owned company, we fully understand the importance of legacy properties.”
When you look at some of the innovative characters and effects that The Jim Henson Company has brought to life over the years, it’s hard to picture a better partner for Terry Pratchett’s work. Looking at some of the company’s past work like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth shows that the company really seems to understand fantasy without trying too hard to create an “epic” feel. Even more modern offerings such as Mirrormask have plenty to offer fans, and televised offerings such as Pajanimals show that the company continues to push boundaries with its productions.
The Wee Free Men is the first of five books featuring Tiffany Aching, so there are opportunities for sequels as well if this film does decently. There’s no word yet on when production will start, but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later. This is one project that fans are likely hoping doesn’t fall off the edge of the world.
The Wee Free Men is being written by Rhianna Pratchett and produced by The Jim Henson Company. Screen Rant will keep you up to date with more information as it becomes available.
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