Ridley Scott Circling Merlin Movie at Disney

Ridley Scott is in talks to produce and possibly direct The Merlin Saga at Disney. It could prove... legendary.

Ridley Scott just had one of the most prodigious years of his career. Following work as director on his latest sci-fi opus, Alien: Covenant, while producing another (Blade Runner 2049), Scott managed to shoot and then reshoot large portions of All the Money in the World in quick succession, gaining good critical notices and awards buzz while doing so. And the 80-year-old director shows no signs of slowing down. Heck, he might be adding another franchise to his repertoire while he’s at it, for he is currently in talks to produce and possibly direct The Merlin Saga.

As per Variety, Scott is late in the negotiating stage to tackle a live-action film that—remarkably—does not appear to be a remake of an animated classic from Walt Disney Pictures proper. While Scott was apparently also offered the chance to look at a live-action remake of The Sword and the Stone, what really caught Scott’s eye was this adaptation of of a series of books by T.A. Barron. If Scott signs on, he’d definitely produce through his Scott Free production company, alongside Gil Netter, but the trade suggests Scott is looking to make it his next movie too.

The film already has as screenplay in place by Philippa Boyens (The Lord of the Rings). The first movie of which would also chronicle how Merlin became the mentor of the legendary figure, King Arthur. While that was also the premise of the recent and anachronistic Merlin on Syfy, the only “film” adaptation of such a concept was the NBC miniseries starring Sam Neill, which was likewise called Merlin. Otherwise, Merlin has mostly been in the periphery of recent King Arthur films.

If Scott signed on, it would certainly make better sense than most Disney properties for the eclectic filmmaker. Scott has always shown an affinity for ancient lands and sweeping period pieces that allows him to build large. Antiquity and legend especially appeals to him after Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, and Robin Hood. Why not add Arthurian legend to his own mythmaking?

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