Director Ridley Scott has reportedly begun assembling the production crew for his Merlin Saga movie. Scott has not yet officially signed to direct the film, but the fact that a behind-the-scenes team is beginning to come together - and is filled with Scott's frequent collaborators - indicates that the Disney movie is indeed moving forward, with Scott at the helm.
Disney is setting up Merlin Saga based on the 12-book YA fantasy book series written by T. A. Barron. The original novels tell the origin story of young Merlin in the years before he became King Arthur's favorite sorcerer. Scott's Scott Free productions is producing the film, with Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong screenwriter Philippa Boyens handling the screenplay.
With Scott apparently in place, Omega Underground is reporting on some new additions to the film's production team. Prometheus and The Martian production designer Arthur Max will reportedly handle the same duties on Merlin Saga. Additionally, Alien: Covenant and All the Money in the World cinematographer Dariusz Wolski has jumped aboard.
Max has handled production design duties for nearly every Ridley Scott movie going back to 1997's G.I. Jane. He's also found time to work on David Fincher's Se7en and Panic Room. Wolski, meanwhile, is a relatively new addition to the Scott team, having first worked for the director on 2012's Prometheus. Wolski's extensive filmography includes many intriguing titles including Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, The Crow, and many music videos including the classic clip for Suzanne Vega's "Luka". He also worked as DP on the upcoming Sicario 2: Soldado from director Stefano Sollima.
With Max and Wolski aboard, Merlin Saga should feature the same rich visuals that have long characterized Scott's work. Having Peter Jackson's go-to screenwriter Philippa Boyens handling writing duties also should be considered good news for fans of fantasy. Scott himself has seldom dipped his toe into the pure fantasy realm. However, he did make one notable foray into the genre with 1985's Legend. Starring Tom Cruise in an early role, Scott's Legend has many fans to this day. The film's fantasy world is beautifully realized and it features a memorable performance by Tim Curry as Darkness.
Scott, as we know, loves keeping a busy slate. To that end, the director also has Battle of Britain in development. Scott's film All the Money in the World is still playing in theaters, but failed to scare up huge Oscar buzz, its nomination for Christopher Plummer aside. Scott made headlines when, with the film just weeks from release, he elected to replace Kevin Spacey with Plummer. Scott's decision led to a mad scramble to reshoot scenes ahead of the movie's release date. That scramble resulted in star Mark Wahlberg making a lot of extra money, but Michelle Williams not so much. Wahlberg would later donate his large extra paycheck to the #TimesUp movement. Here's hoping that the Merlin Saga shoot goes more smoothly.
Source: Omega Underground