Anne McCaffrey’s seminal sci-fi book series, Dragonriders of Pern, is on its way to becoming a feature live-action film. According to Deadline, screenwriter David Hayter (Watchmen, X-Men) is set to adapt the first novel in the series, Dragonflight. Can you say hello franchise?
Dragonriders of Pern is a genre-bending sci-fi series that spans thousands of years in over 20 books. Pern is a colonized planet with a system of dragon-riding warriors put in place to battle a periodic cosmic attack of killer spores. The dragons–creatures of genetic manipulation–share a telepathic bond with their riders, breath fire, and fly. The first book in the series was published in 1968, and is technically a science fiction novel but has obvious fantasy elements (like the flying dragons, and the feudal/pre-industrial society).
Some attempts at bringing this series to the big and little screens have cropped up over the years. Alliance Atlantis apparently first attempted a film adaptation, but their efforts failed and they eventually sold the rights. In 2002 Ronald Moore (Battlestar Galactica), a fan of the series, tried to launch a TV version. After the WB network made major last-minute changes to the script, Moore refused to continue with the show on the grounds that the changes altered the world of Pern so much that it was no longer true to McCaffrey’s vision.
Hayter and Benedict Carver’s Dark Hero Studios has teamed up with Steve Hoban of Copperheart Entertainment and Entertainment One to launch this project, hopefully bringing a faithful adaptation of the ubiquitous sci-fi series to the silver screen. Hoban (Splice) and Carver will produce the film, which is scheduled to begin production early in 2012. No director or cast has been attached to this project yet, but we’ll keep you updated.