Could a Dragonriders of Pern movie be coming soon to a theater near you? While Warner Bros. has worked hard to find some suitable franchise replacement for Harry Potter since the highest grossing film franchise of all time came to a close three years ago, it has thus far come up empty. The studio bought some time when Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit adaptation expanded to three films, but that’s coming to an end this December with the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. And so WB continues to search hard for another franchise that might spark as big as Harry Potter (I’m not sure there’ll be anything like Harry Potter again for a long, long time—if ever), and their latest play is author Anne McCaffrey’s long-running Dragonriders of Pern book series. More after the jump.
Author Anne McCaffrey began the Dragonriders of Pern book series in 1968 with the release of Dragonflight. Since that time, 22 novels and a number of short stories have been released under the Dragonriders of Pern moniker, with McCaffrey’s son Tom McCaffrey co-authoring some of the books with Anne since 2003. The sci-fi/fantasy series takes place in a pre-industrialized society that is comprised of lords, harpers, dragons, and much more. It has spurred a large and intense fan following, and is notable for it progressive views pertaining to a number of societal issues.
Per Deadline, Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to the entire Dragonriders of Pern book series from American-Irish author Anne McCaffrey’s estate. It’s very early days on the project, but given that Warner Bros. is in need of a new fantasy franchise, I imagine its chances of reaching production are more solid than some other acquisitions. This isn’t the first time an adaptation of Pern has been tackled, though, as a few years ago David Hayter (X2) penned a script for Dragonflight for executive producer Don Murphy. That iteration was planned as an international co-production, but obviously it never came together.
What say you, Pern fans? Are you excited to see a feature film adaptation of the series at Warner Bros.? Who should spearhead the franchise? What are you thinking for director? Cast? Sound off in the comments below.