New Line in a fantasy world

Studio feels 'Immortal' pull

New Line Cinema has made a deal for Michael Scott-penned fantasy series “The Immortal Nicholas Flamel.” Mark Burnett will produce what he and the studio hope will be a six-picture franchise.

Burnett, the producer of reality shows “Survivor,” “The Apprentice” and “Rock Star,” used his own coin to land the book series rights in an auction held in the early fall (Daily Variety, Sept. 14). Studio and Burnett will set a writer to adapt “The Alchemyst,” the first title in a series to be published by Random House Children’s Books next May.

Two teenage twins find themselves in the adventure of a lifetime when legendary alchemist Nicholas Flamel loses a book holding secrets that could spell the doom of humanity if the tome falls into the wrong hands.

Burnett has been branching out –he’s got a reality show cooking with Steven Spielberg and just completed “Gold Rush,” an interactive series for AOL that awarded a $1 million prize in gold. But this feature project is his first to be set up at a studio. Burnett feels there are multiple movies in the “Flamel” franchise and liked the way that New Line distributed and marketed the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.

For its part, New Line execs Toby Emmerich, Mark Ordesky and Ileen Maisel have made it a priority to recapture that fantasy franchise magic. Studio is already in production on “The Golden Compass,” the Chris Weitz-directed first installment in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.

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