One of the best movies that ended up flying too far under the radar because of the pandemic was Michael Matthews’ Love and Monsters, the high concept fantasy adventure starring Dylan O’Brien.
A winning blend of action, romance, post-apocalyptic thriller and comedy, the film was shuffled onto VOD last October, where it didn’t find anything close to the size of audience it deserved. Love and Monsters wound up with a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score and an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, but it remains criminally under-seen.
It clearly impressed the folks at Disney, though, with Deadline reporting that Matthews has boarded the studio’s Merlin, which originally had Ridley Scott attached to direct. Based on the literary series by T.A. Barron, the story follows the young wizard during his early days on Fincayra, an enchanted land between earth and sky, long before he becomes a key advisor to King Arthur.
Barron penned 12 books focusing on Merlin, so the Mouse House are clearly envisioning the project as the first installment of a proposed franchise. Arthurian legend hasn’t fared too well at the box office in recent years, but Love and Monsters was a solid calling card that displayed Matthews’ fantasy chops.