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Peter Jackson Provides an Interesting Update on Temeraire

by
December 7, 2009
Source: Ain't It Cool News

Temeraire

The first time, and only time, we've ever written about this Temeraire adaptation was way, way back in 2006. It was announced back then that Peter Jackson would be adapting Naomi Novik's Temeraire series of novels. But since then its been three years and we haven't heard anything about this adaptation until now. Quint from AICN caught up with Jackson and asked him for an update. He describes the Temeraire novels as "Master and Commander with dragon attacks." It's a character driven action fantasy, the perfect kind of story for Jackson to bring to life on the big screen soon (while Guillermo del Toro is directing The Hobbit).

Before getting into some ideas, Jackson suggested that he'd love to see Temeraire made as a "large budget mini-series." He explains: "I can't see any degree of common sense in trying to mount them one at a time as feature films. To me the stories, having read the first ones, already work as this continuing, on-going saga." The Temeraire series currently spans five novels, the last of which was published in 2008, although author Naomi Novik says there still may four more books out before it concludes. Jackson continues his thoughts:

"So my thinking is… and I'm talking to you here having absolutely no plans in place, no deal in place… and I wouldn't. What I would do is I'd start developing the treatment, I'd start to break the storylines down to see if we can structure it in that way. I've already started to do designs. I've had Weta Workshop do a lot of work on designing the characters… the dragons… I've been working with Gus Hunter on the designs. We're well underway creating the visual look.

In 2010 one of the things I'll be doing is looking at starting the scripting process and structuring and using it to see if we can't set the project up in that way because I think that'd be the best to serve the story."

The novels are works of both fantasy and alternate history: they are "a reimagining of the epic events of the Napoleonic Wars with an air force -- an air force of dragons, manned by crews of aviators." I haven't read any of the books, but they do sound awesome. And as much as I'd love to see them turned into a feature film (just because the production value needs to be top-notch), if Jackson can make a mini-series out of this that still has the same production values as a full-on feature, I'd want to watch that, too. There's something about seeing Peter Jackson bring dragons to life in the Napoleonic Wars that makes me smile with excitement.

You can read Quint's interview with Jackson over on AICN. Are there any fans of this series out there that agree that this would be the best way to adapt Temeraire? Or should Jackson just adapt this as feature film?

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  • Quanah
    Sounds like a lot of possibilities. Jackson can weave a good film out of greater books. Should be interesting.
  • jake the snake
    I love the ideas of Peter Jackson. I wish he had an infinite budget so we could see all his ideas come to life.
  • shadow
    No one has done dragon's justice yet, I hope the Hobbit and this are the first because dragons deserve their time to shine.
  • Stew
    I hear ya, the best dragon movie in my opinion is ring of fire.
  • Johnny Heartless
    These books were fantastic, I think Jackson can pull it off!
  • Cody
    OF course jackson can pull it off....like #2 I wish he just had unlimited money and we could see all of his visions come to life.
  • Kevin
    I read all of the books, and I can tell you, I think Jackson's idea is spot-on. They really do cover a lot of ground, and deal with a lot of cool stuff that I'm not sure you could fit into two or three movies. Besides that, I can say there is nobody I would be happier with on this project. Jackson's already proven he can do this sort of thing. And the characters really are fun. If you haven't read the books, I suggest you do post-haste. The portrayal of intelligent dragons, and whats more, dragons rights later on in the books, is directly relevant to a lot of interesting things that were going on at the time. The abolition of slavery, darwinism, social-darwinism (even if that came later)... lots of great stuff.
  • I'll be happy to see it in whatever format it comes in. I think the first novel is compact enough to make a movie, but the later books really do become more expansive and flow into one another in a way that makes the mini-series idea attractive. I hadn't heard that she's planning more novels. That's great news!
  • Phontsolo
    I think you meant "Reign of Fire" Stew. ;o) And i agree. Best dragon on film to date. If Peter Jackson makes this. The dragons will be sick.
  • wHiskey Tango…
    I get the feeling that we're going to expect The Lord of the Rings outta Tin Man.
  • Cim
    Can you provide a credit for that painting at the top? You don't seem to have any information about it on the page at all, let alone the artist's name.
  • Corran Horn
    I've read four of the five current books, and I've enjoyed all of them. There's definitely a Master and Commander vibe to them. Heck, when I read them, I had a hard time not picturing M&C cast members in various roles. I agree with Peter that a mini-series would work best for this series, with each book comprising an individual episode. BTW, Book Six, last I heard, was set to come out sometime next year.
  • yumyumfish
    dragons have always been my favourite beings. I EVEN HAVE ONE IN MY ROOM. LOL. Peter Jackson is also my favourite director. So putting those 2 together keeps me happy. Long live Pete! Yumyumfish out...........
  • yumyumfish
    dragons have always been my favourite beings. I EVEN HAVE ONE IN MY ROOM. LOL. Peter Jackson is also my favourite director. So putting those 2 together keeps me happy. Long live Pete! I think that a mini series would do very nicely. It worked with the terry pratchett films didnt it!
  • SlashBeast
    "He describes the Temeraire novels as "Master and Commander with dragon attacks." You mean severely lacking in action and excitement? Unfortunate.
  • Merv
    There was a big ferry in Fremantle, Australia called the Temeraire II years ago. It was a river ferry and also went offshore for about 15 miles to a shitty little tourist island called Rottnest, the only big island of the West Australian coast and actually named by Dutch explorers as "Rats Nest" due to the native rat bastard looking creatures called Quokkas that are not Rodents at all but some kind of Marsupial. I used to commute to Perth from Fremantle in the mornings and evenings when I was an exchange student there in the mid 80's. It sunk. It wasn't me.
  • dragonkin
    Hay Cim, the art work is from Todd Lockwood, he has done many marvelous art pieces, go to http://www.toddlockwood.com/ to see it all. Have fun, it's worth the trip....
  • Ez21
    It doesn't matter to me if he makes it a movie or a mini-series, so long as I get to watch it. I love the books there the best novels I've read in ages, even though I dont normally like history fiction. There is no way you could go wrong with Temeraire, no matter what form Jackson ends up making it in.

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