Lord of the Rings co-writer Philippa Boyens will be adapting T.A. Barron’s The Merlin Saga for Disney.
In a groundbreaking and completely unprecedented move, Disney is going to turn the story about the old and wizened wizard Merlin on its head, and tell the story of a young Merlin.
Er… Disney is going to tell the story of a young Merlin, anyway.
Deadline reports that Lord of the Rings writer Philippa Boyens, who co-wrote all six Middle-earth movies (The LotR and Hobbit trilogies) with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, has agreed to write the screenplay for the adaptation of T.A. Barron’s The Merlin Saga
Boyens’ screenwriting career pretty much begins and ends with Peter Jackson collaborations (her only other credits are King Kong and The Lovely Bones), so it’ll be interesting to see how she fares on her own.
T.A. Barron’s The Merlin Saga (formerly known as The Lost Years of Merlin) is a 12-novel series following a young boy in
a land of myth and a time of magic Wales, who is washed up on shore without any memories of who he is and where he came from.
His name? Merlin.
The young Merlin — or Emrys, as he is better known — soon learns the truth about his mysterious powers, and how his destiny entwines with the fate of Camelot. Over the course of the series he befriends both characters of T.A. Barron’s invention, and recognizable figures from Arthurian legends — including, of course, Arthur himself.
Boyens will adapt the first novel in the series, titled The Lost Years. It is expected that Disney will try to launch a new Arthurian movie franchise off of the T.A. Barron property, which is curious, considering Warner Bros. is doing the exact same thing with Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur movie.
Of course King Arthur and his wizard have never really stopped being hot properties in Hollywood, but it’s hard to distance any of the current projects from the BBC series Merlin (2008-2012), which gained a massive, dedicated online following still active today.
T.A. Barron’s series is hugely beloved too, however, and we hope fans will be able to distance this exciting new project from the disappointment we’ll all inevitably feel when someone not named Colin Morgan is cast in the title role.