Disney’s Young Merlin Movie Taps ‘Lord of the Rings’ Co-Writer Philippa Boyens
Among the vast crop of movies Disney has planned inspired by previously established classic properties, we haven’t heard much — if anything — of a young Merlin movie. In addition to the studio’s planned live-action Sword in the Stone, Disney is also developing a film based on The Merlin Saga, and has just hired a screenwriter well-suited for the world of fantasy.
According to Deadline, Disney has tapped Philippa Boyens to script the first film in what the studio hopes is a new franchise similar to Harry Potter. Boyens is best known for her screenwriting collaborations with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, having worked with the duo on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, as well as The Lovely Bones and King Kong.
Boyens is clearly no stranger to fantasy, making her a good fit to adapt The Merlin Saga, based on T.A. Barron’s series of novels. The series launched in 1996 with The Lost Years of Merlin, which follows the famed wizard in his youth as he washed up on the shore of Wales with no memories of who he was or where he came from. The young wizard sets out to find answers in the series, which chronicles his training and adventures on the magical isle of Fincayra.
You could see how Disney might think they have a potential Harry Potter successor on their hands, though it remains to be seen if the studio can hook kids and teens who aren’t already familiar with Barron’s novels.