After a decades worth of Harry Potter films and a couple billion dollars, Warner Bros. is casting a wide net to try and find what their next franchises can be that can take them through the next decade. They’re looking at numerous comic book movie adaptations, seeing the money that Marvel Studios is making for Disney as well as the bank they’ve made with the Batman movies and the potential with Green Lantern, but they don’t want to put all the franchise hopes in just one particular basket, especially since it could be fickle. And there is something to be said about working with younger (and cheaper) actors that grow into their roles as the characters themselves age. Which is why the potential for them to bring the T.A. Barron series that starts off with The Lost Years of Merlin is pretty much a decent idea, if it can take hold. Few books have the power that the Potter series does with younger fans, but there’s a solid second layer of fans that can grow into it with just a bit of additional movie magic and marketing. Warner has brought in Ed Whiteworth to write the feature that’s being produced by Donald De Line, who is behind Green Lantern. According to reports, the first movie will combine the first two books in the series into one film.
Plot summary: This first installment in a planned trilogy about Merlin’s shadowy youth takes some intriguing twists. Young Emrys washes up on a Welsh beach with a woman who claims to be his mother. For years, they share a hovel, but Branwen tells him nothing about his past. One day he discovers that he has some unusual powers; using them to kindle a fire in Branwen’s defense, he is blinded by the flames. However, he learns to see without eyes?using his “second sight.” Desperate to know about his past, Emrys, now 12, sets off on anocean journey. He lands on Fincayra, where he plunges into a dangerous quest to rescue the island from the destructive blight caused by a pact between its king and an evil power. In the process, he befriends a young Fincayran girl and a dwarf who becomes a giant through a brave deed. Emrys also learns the truth about his origins. The Fincayran portion of the story is very much like Lloyd Alexander’s “Prydain Chronicles”: a young boy and girl team up with a cute non-human to save a kingdom from the force of evil, with Welsh-style names abounding.