Warner Bros. to Keep Conjuring Magic with 'The Lost Years of Merlin'
With the studio nearing the end of this international franchise with Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part II hitting theaters on July 15th Warner Bros. is anxious to fill the void left by the conclusion of the fantasy series. Well, they may find it in yet another wizarding tale as the studio has decided make a big budget adaptation of The Lost Years of Merlin, the first book in a series of fantasy novels by T.A. Barron. Apparently the project had previously been set up at Paramount with Mr. and Mrs. Smith director Simon Kinberg attached, but their option on the property ran out, and now the project has new life at Warner Bros.
Heat Vision says the film is an origin story of the infamous wizard tracing Merlin’s journey from being a boy washed on the shores of Wales with no memory and no home, to him becoming a young man learning to use his powers and ultimately defender of the natural world and eventual mentor to King Arthur. The story certainly shares some shades with Harry Potter as both follow a boy learning to become a wizard, and eventually becoming one of the most powerful of his kind and a franchise is expected to sprout from the adaptation.
Interestingly enough, there isn't a big name writer behind the project, but rather a script reader from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions who seems to have landed himself a winning lottery ticket in Hollywood with such a big project for his first real writing venture. The screenwriter has had several spec scripts make the rounds, but recently found himself with representation and a successful pitch to combine the first two books in the series into one film. He's still writing the script, but stay tuned as this project develops as a director will likely be sought sooner than later. Sound good?