‘Lord of the Rings’ Scribe Philippa Boyens to Pen ‘Young Merlin’ Pic for Disney

Philippa Boyens, co-scribe of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, will pen “Young Merlin” for Disney, sources confirm to Variety.

The pic is part of “The Merlin Saga” from author T.A. Barron, with Gill Netter producing. Tendo Nagenda and Foster Driver are overseeing for the studio.

While Disney has of late made a name for itself by taking its animated classics and turning them into live-action hits, this project will be different from the studio’s live-action adaptation of “Sword in the Stone,” which the studio is also developing with “Game of Thrones” scribe Bryan Cogman.

Since “Sword in the Stone” focuses more on a young King Arthur role, this pic will have stakes in both Merlin and Arthur characters, who still have popular global brands. “Young Merlin” is the center of a much bigger story where the stakes are no less than the future of magic in the world.

In addition to “Lord of the Rings,” Boyens helped shape “The Hobbit” franchise with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. Her schedule had an opening while Jackson and Walsh seek their next project.

Boyens is repped by Key Creatives and attorney George Davis. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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