What a journey!
This whole movie experience is, let me tell you, one AMAZING journey. With a plot even more bizarre than one of my fantasy novels. But I’m glad to tell you the big news:
The Lost Years of Merlin film is making great progress. I’m very excited about what lies ahead!
Because I can’t keep up with all the questions and comments from fans, I will update this page regularly. Any big news that I can share will be announced right here on this page. After all, you folks are my companions on this journey!
Read an article from The Hollywood Reporter about Merlin the Movie.
Read a piece from Hypable.com about Merlin the Movie.
Here’s another article from the The Hollywood Reporter about the movie.
Read an article from CG Life.
Explore books, maps, and more about Merlin in the Merlin Saga section of this website.
Video interview about Merlin
The most recent news:
We’re making great progress on the script—the essential first step in making any movie. And since this movie will be about the origins of Merlin, the greatest wizard of all time, that script needs to be absolutely terrific! It must be worthy of Merlin. That’s the goal—nothing less.
My producer Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side, Ghost) and the writers John Zinman and Patrick Masset (Tomb Raider, The Blacklist) have been working hard to craft the script that will bring the origins of Merlin to life on the big screen. Since this film will be based on my Merlin Saga, they have been very inclusive of me in this process. All of us want this film to be true to the authentic young wizard who has captured the hearts of people everywhere.
In addition, the people at Disney have been the best studio partners imaginable—hugely helpful in every way. I couldn’t be more excited! As soon as we have more news on this project, I’ll be sure to post it right here.
From October, 2014:
Here’s the big news: The Merlin movie project recently moved to a new studio – Disney. At Disney, it’s had a wonderfully enthusiastic reception – and I am greatly impressed with the professionalism and passion of everyone involved. Best of all, Disney has assembled a truly terrific team!
We have a fabulous producer, Gil Netter. Among other films, he produced Life of Pi, The Blind Side, and Ghost. In addition, the project has attracted a pair of outstanding writers, Patrick Massett and John Zinman, whose credits include Tomb Raider as well as the hit television series The Blacklist.
We still have much hard work to do … but with this terrific team in place, I am very encouraged. And the leader of our team, as always, is Merlin himself. He continues to inspire us all!
From December, 2012:
Good news! Warner Bros. Studio recently renewed its option to develop this film. That’s a good sign of their excitement about this project — though still a long way from the Merlin movie we all want to see.
More good news: As part of this process, the studio has asked a certain writer to help on the screenplay — somebody by the name of T. A. Barron. I’m delighted to have this new opportunity to help WB create a powerful, magical movie about young Merlin’s adventures! So all of you friends of Merlin out there … send your magic toward Hollywood.
From September, 2012:
Just received the first draft of the script. It’s coming together nicely. Most important, it remains true to the spirit of our friend Merlin. On top of that, I am delighted with the visionary leadership of my producer, Donald DeLine, and his team, in this whole process.
From June, 2012:
Warner Bros. has just hired a new, highly acclaimed script writer, Ed Whitworth. He brings excellent writing skills, and even more important, a genuine passion for young Merlin’s adventures. Expect a first draft of the script soon …
From January, 2012:
Excellent news! Donald DeLine, a terrific producer, has just signed onto this project. He brings huge experience as a highly successful producer – including several films that have each grossed almost $200 million worldwide (which sounds like a lot of money to me): The Italian Job, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and Yogi Bear. When I met with Donald at Warner Bros. this week, he was just finishing the final editing of his next big film, Green Lantern. I am thrilled to have Donald on board!
More good news: The Merlin movie project has moved to a fabulous new studio: Warner Bros. The Lost Years of Merlin is now at WB (the same studio that has given us, in recent years, a series of films about another young wizard named Harry).
I’m delighted to tell you that there is tremendous enthusiasm for this project at the studio, from creative executives through top management. These are wonderful people — folks who share my passion for Merlin, and who see the potential power of this saga as a movie.
We still have a long way to go. This trail will take more twists and turns, no doubt. But I am thrilled at this important step forward … and I’m sure that Merlin, wherever he is right now, feels the same!
Here is my post from before that:
We have reached, at long last, a crucial stage — going out to directors. We now have a short list of terrific, absolutely top filmmakers. Any one of these directors would do a brilliant job. Our goal is to bring one of them onto the project as soon as possible.
Simon Kinberg, who wrote the script for The Lost Years of Merlin — and whose film credits include Sherlock Holmes, X-Men 3, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith — and I will be making the pitches to directors. Honestly, I feel like the magic of Merlin brought Simon onto this project. He is a truly fabulous writer and producer, and is just as passionate about young Merlin’s story as I am (which says a lot).
I hope to have some good news to share with you soon. At the same time, none of us should be surprised if this road through Hollywood still has a few more twists and turns. But — with Merlin’s help — we’ll get to celebrate a major motion picture!
And here is my post from before that:
Having just returned home from a creative meeting at the Paramount studio in California (the third such meeting in three months), I can tell you there is great excitement for this project. We still have much to do to achieve the goal of a phenomenal feature film — but things are moving in the right direction.
Paramount has acquired (and also recently renewed) the option to make a movie of Merlin’s lost years—the magical time of his youth—based on the first book of the epic. And the project could not be in better hands. This is truly the best team I could have asked for: They understand the power and depth of young Merlin—and they also know how to make spectacular movies.
That’s EXTREMELY important to me, since I’d much rather have no film at all than have one that’s anything less than SUPERB. Merlin deserves only the best! And so do you, my loyal readers.
In addition to the people at Paramount, I am thrilled to be working with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (whose most recent film, Transformers, was a huge box office success worldwide). Earlier in his career, Lorenzo was the head of worldwide production at Warner Bros., where he helped to make The Matrix, Perfect Storm, and many other successful films.
Scriptwriter Simon Kinberg has written the original script for this project. And believe me, wherever Merlin is right now, he is just as delighted as I am. For Simon is truly a crafter of powerful, compelling stories. His most recent films include X-Men 3 and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Now, a word of caution: Hollywood is probably the most unpredictable place on the planet. (I’ve concluded it’s just as bizarre and full of surprises as Merlin’s isle of Fincayra.) So even with our recent progress, this movie could still take a long time to complete, or may never even happen. But I am greatly encouraged by what I’ve seen recently.
This team is determined to make a movie that’s truly fabulous. That’s why I’m staying involved in the process as much as possible. Whatever does happen, I’ll keep you up to date right here on this website, as well as in my newsletters.
The goal of everyone involved in this project is to create a film that’s truly worthy of Merlin!
– T.A. Barron