As much as Working Title would love for their Merlin-in-the-modern-world movie to be the only Arthurian wizard competing for our movie dollar, it looks like that that's just not going to happen, guys. Warner Bros., in need of some sort of wizard bullshit to make up for not having any Harry Potters left in the queue, has announced plans to adapt T. A. Barron's young adult series The Lost Years of Merlin into what they hope to be the next big budget franchise they can spread out over the next decade or so. Like Potter, the books tell the story of Merlin when he was just an adolescent, back before the iconic long, white beard made him less marketable to young audiences.
To write this tale of Merlin pubescence, the studio has hired Ed Whitworth, one of Harpo Productions' script readers who's apparently been working hard--pitching bizarre spec scripts like a part-true, part-made-up tale of Colin Powell--in the hopes of getting out of his job finding Oprah the next Precious. So I guess it's a good thing he found success now, before Oprah dies next week.