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Merlin Saga adaptation lands Lord of the Rings writer

If you’re a fan of The Merlin Saga, T.A. Barron’s epic, sprawling, eleven-book fantasy series, you likely knew that a film adaptation was on the way — but yesterday brought some additional, intriguing news on that front.

Deadline Hollywood reports that rights-holder Disney has brought in Philippa Boyens, who co-wrote the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, to pen the script for the upcoming film, and it’s hard to imagine how they could have made a better hire in this spot. Boyens worked alongside Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh on six separate Tolkien adaptations (three Lord of the Rings films and three Hobbit films), so at this point, the scribe is well versed in how to bring fantasy novels to the big screen.

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The Merlin Saga (AKA The Lost Years of Merlin) tells the tale of the legendary wizard’s youth and — while the character is famous throughout the world — he is almost always depicted as an older, grey-bearded man. Everyone loves a good origin/coming-of-age story and we’d guess that — with major studio backing — young Merlin shouldn’t have any problems putting butts in movie theater seats.

If you’re not particularly inspired by this news, take a second to remember what happened the last time a studio adapted a series of young adult novels about an adolescent wizard. Yep, we ended up with the Harry Potter films, the second-most profitable movie franchise of all-time, trailing only the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While we don’t have many details yet on how this adaptation will be handled, who will be cast, or even when it might be released, Disney’s hiring of Boyens should help give fans an indication of the direction of the project.

We’ll be bringing you updates as they become available, so stay tuned.