WB Announces “Merlin” Movie, Aims to Follow “Potter” Success


The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively revealed that Warner Brothers — the studio behind the billion dollar Harry Potter movie franchise — has acquired the rights to The Lost Years of Merlin, a multi-book telling of Merlin’s early/lost years, by T.A. Barron.

WB has announced that Ed Whitworth, a script reader at Harpo Productions, will pen the first film’s screenplay. He has no noteworthy screenplay experience. Donald De Line (Green Lantern, The Italian Job) will produce the film.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The film will trace Merlin’s journey from being a boy washed on the shores of Wales with no memory and no home, to him becoming a young man learning to use his powers and ultimately defender of the natural world and eventual mentor to King Arthur.

THR is also reporting that the first two books in the series — The Lost Years of Merlin and The Seven Songs of Merlin — will be combined into one film. If the movie is a success, one can expect the following books to be adapted quickly.

This is a curious decision by WB. We understand that the guaranteed success of all eight Harry Potter films has been a virtual money maker for the studio and that they’re likely looking to find success in a similar franchise, but Merlin is by no means an original tale. In fact, the BBC is currently in the middle of a very successful run of the TV show Merlin, which depicts the early years of Merlin as he works to befriend and ally himself with Arthur.How will a movie fare against an established TV show?

Most amusingly: a promo blurb on the front of one edition of The Lost Years of Merlin states: “Young sorcery fans… set aside Harry Potter and pick up Merlin.” We’ll see how this Merlin adaptation does compared to Potter.


About Author

Mike Macauley

Mike Macauley is the founder and editor in chief of Lytherus.com. He also founded and runs Shurtugal.com, the official Inheritance Cycle community, and published his book, The Inheritance Almanac, in 2011. Mike can be found on Twitter at @mikemacauley.

  • Anonymous

    There are so many other series that WB could pick up and make into movies,,,Artemis Fowl, Tamora Piece’s books..or perhaps a remake of Eragon.

  • Koko Dove

    Nothing is better than Harry Potter anyway…why try?? 🙂 But they should definitely do a remake of Eragon 😀 

  • Anonymous

    @bookwormgrl05 @Koko Dove It’s too soon for a remake of Eragon. Not that I wouldn’t love to see one made, but for the movie companies to feel comfortable doing that, enough time will have had to elapse for the populous that doesn’t love the books to forget the stench of the first. No, we will have to wait at least ten years from the release of the first one. That puts it at the earliest of 2016, and probably later. 

    • Connor K.

      Tthough I know what you mean, thats not completely true, because the Hulk bombed, but they remade it about 5 years later, though that bombed too. warrant it was a popular comic, so that does give it some leverage. just like you and everyone else, I want an Eragon remake.

  • alex

     Will never ever even come close to comparing to the bbc series, which i must say is pretty awesome!

  • Anonymous

     If their stance is just to go off the success of Harry Potter, that can’t be a good sign. TA Barron’s books were so good; there are worse books that can be ruined by a movie.