Disney may have just found their director for their adaptation of the young adult series, Merlin Saga. Sources close to the film told Variety Ridley Scott is in talks with Disney to helm the project. Nothing is set in stone yet, but sources indicate Scott and Disney are getting awfully close to sealing the deal. His production company, Scott Free, is also said to be in talks to produce the film along with Gil Netter. Merlin Saga is set to be written by King Kong and The Lovely Bones scribe, Philippa Boyens.
Merlin Saga is based on a 12-book YA series that spun off of its initial 5-book run as The Lost Years. The film is said to be an origin story that will follow Merlin in his early years before he becomes a mentor to King Arthur. The series’ author, T. A. Barron, enthusiastically praised Disney’s committal to keeping him closely involved in the production process. He also revealed his personal goal to simply see the film portray Merlin’s story in a compelling manner. A live-action adaptation of The Sword In The Stone from Game Of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman can also be expected in the near future. Yahoo reports that Scott also met with Disney executives in consideration for the live-action adaptation of The Sword In The Stone as well, but it appears he will not be moving forward on that project.
Scott is just coming off the highly anticipated All The Money In The World, which made headlines after Scott’s ground-breaking decision to completely recast Kevin Spacey after news of his sexual assault allegations broke, mere weeks before the movie’s release date. Christopher Plummer was brought in to refilm the already completed scenes in Spacey’s place. He also released Alien: Covenant to much fanfare in 2017 and received an Academy Award Best Picture nod for 2015’s The Martian starring Matt Damon. Scott is also currently attached to Battle Of Britain and an as-of-yet unnamed Alien: Covenant sequel that is slated for debut sometime next year.
It’s safe to assume the accomplished combination of Scott and Boyens, with their prior experience writing and directing for multiple sweeping fantasy/sci-fi films like Alien: Covenant and Lord Of The Rings, respectively, will bring an epic feel to this adaptation. Merlin Saga is hardly the first franchise to attempt a grand retelling of Merlin’s story, but most have received little fanfare (excepting BBC’s Merlin, of course). The unparalleled success this team has had in similar genres bodes well for the future of the franchise.
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