We’re Getting Another Merlin Movie, and Here’s Why You Might Hate It
Yes, we might all secretly toast to Sam Neill’s health in the hopes that he will tackle Merlin once again, but his time on the TV miniseries ‘Merlin’ is long gone. There’ve been many incarnations of Merlin on screen, including briefly in that disastrous ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ and the Syfy original series that got canceled, but Hollywood isn’t through with the wizard yet. Walt Disney Studios is moving ahead with its Merlin movie with two new writers from ‘Tomb Raider”s past, but here’s why fans of the iconic magician’s classical mythos might not be so thrilled.
For starters, this film seems to check off a lot of boxes, and it’s not the classic Merlin we know and love. Disney’s Merlin project is based on the young-adult novel series by T.A. Barron, titled ‘The Lost Years of Merlin,’ which chronicles Merlin as a teenager learning to hone his magical abilities (hmm, sound familiar?) before he’s destined to aid King Arthur. The first in the series, ‘The Lost Years,’ totes this brief synopsis:
A raging sea tosses a boy upon the shores of ancient Wales. Left for dead, he has no memory, no name, and no home. But it is his determination to find out who he is—to learn the truth about his mysterious powers—that leads him to a strange and enchanted land. And it is there he discovers that the fate of this land and his personal quest are strangely entwined.
According to THR, the movie version at Disney is tentatively titled ‘Young Merlin,’ and writers Patrick Massett and John Zinman of ‘Laura Croft: Tomb Raider’ and ‘Go Like Hell’ fame are penning the script. As the trade notes, Warner Bros., Miramax and Paramount are three of several movie studios who grabbed at the adaptation possibilities before Disney came up with its version.
Whether this is a little too close for comfort to ‘Harry Potter‘ (and let’s not forget the upcoming movies set in that same universe) or going on Disney’s track record alone, we’re not especially thrilled at this prospect. Though one can only hope the old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” comes back to bite us in the butt and this film ends up being worthy of the name Merlin.