With the release of Alien: Covenant and All the Money in the World, the latter of which saw Kevin Spacey being replaced by Christopher Plummer at the last minute, director Ridley Scott had an eventful 2017. Now after working in the sci-fi and crime thriller genres, it looks like the filmmaker is leaning towards the realm of fantasy for his next project, as it's been reported that Scott is being eyed to direct a film adaptation of The Merlin Saga series of books written by T.A. Barron.
While a deal hasn't been closed yet, Variety reports that Ridley Scott is in talks to helm The Merlin Saga, and sources who are "close to the situation" believe that this will be Scott's next movie. The Merlin Saga was originally announced to be in development back in November 2015, and Philippa Boyen is still attached as the script writer. Along with Scott's potential involvement as director, his production company, Scott Free, is in negotiations to produce with Gil Netter. This is the second Merlin-related movie that Disney has in development, the other being The Sword in the Stone, a live action remake of the 1963 animated movie.
Although he's primarily known as being a key supporting character in the King Arthur legend, Merlin has been the leading characters in many of his own stories, like the 1998 miniseries starring Sam Neill and the BBC TV series starring Colin Morgan that ran for five seasons. The Merlin Saga tells the story of how the eponymous wizard learned how to use magic in his younger years and became the powerful man who would one day mentor King Arthur. The series was initially comprised of five books, which were collectively titled The Lost Years of Merlin. T.A. Barron then published The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy, and then wrote the Merlin's Dragon trilogy, which takes place in between the preceding two series. The 12th and so far final installment of The Merlin Saga, an encyclopedia called Merlin: The Book of Magic, was published in 2011.
Assuming Ridley Scott and Disney work out a deal, The Merlin Saga would be Scott's second time directing a pure fantasy movie (the first being 1985's Legend), although he has helmed medieval-set movies more recently, like Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood. Along with The Merlin Saga on his radar, Scott is working on an Alien: Covenant sequel, though as mentioned before, it sounds like he would tackle Merlin's origin story before returning to the world of Xenomorphs and androids (assuming that movie happens at all). Because there are so many books in The Merlin Saga, depending on how successful this initial movie is, this could turn into another franchise that Disney could market towards younger and older moviegoers alike, similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on The Merlin Saga and Ridley Scott's other projects. In the meantime, you can take a look at our 2018 premiere guide to see what's hitting theaters this year.