Dragon Riders

Anne McCaffrey’s fantasy reptiles will flap to the movies

Yes, fantasy is well and truly hot again in movie land and every production company worth their headed notepaper is on the hunt for raw dungeons ‘n’ dragons-filled material to pitch as films.

Copperheart Productions has snagged the rights to Anne McCaffrey’s 19 book series The Dragonriders Of Pern, figuring that the sci-fi/fantasy blend will provide a healthy built-in audience. The novels certainly have a killer hook – human warriors ride mighty fighting creatures and share a special psychic bond with their reptilian mounts.

Since her first effort, Dragonflight, hit bookshelves in 1968, McCaffrey’s Pern adventures have slowly but surely been building a fanatical core audience who wait with baited – but probably not flaming – breath for each new tome. She was the first woman to nab the prestigious Hugo award for fiction and this year became an inductee of the Science Fiction Hall Of Fame (think the Rock Hall Of Fame, but slightly nerdier).

So you can understand that she’s a little protective of her babies. "I decided that Pern had to be done right, and I wouldn't let it go to someone unless I was certain that they were committed to excellence," McCaffrey blabbed to The Hollywood Reporter when news of the deal broke.

Thanks to the newfound respect for fantasy in Hollywood (big box office tends to help that along, we hope they’ll make a decent stab of it. Two words to avoid, however: Uwe. And Boll.

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