Ampco Films brewing ‘The Alchemyst’

Author of fantasy series will pen screenplay

Australia-based Ampco Films has acquired feature rights to “The Alchemyst,” the first in Michael Scott’s six-book Random House series “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.”

Scott will adapt his own novel, with production commencing in February in Australia and New Zealand. Ampco’s Mario Andreacchio and Konstantin Thoeren (“Peter the Great”) produce.

“The Alchemyst” centers on 14th century French alchemist Nicholas Flamel. Records show he died in 1418, but some believe he discovered eternal life and is still alive — the story focuses on efforts to prevent his secret from falling into the wrong hands, because it would destroy the world.

“The Enchantress,” the last book in Scott’s young-adult series, was released May 22.

Stefan Brunner, former COO of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, is packaging the project and exec producing along with Scott and Barry Krost.

The deal for “The Alchemyst” was brokered and negotiated by Lawless Entertainment’s CEO Cathy Malatesta, who will co-exec produce.

Four-year-old Ampco co-produced China-set family adventure “The Dragon Pearl,” directed by Andreacchio and starring Wang Ji, Sam Neill, Robert Mammone, Jordan Chan and young stars Li Lin Jin and Louis Corbett. Ampco’s production alliances include New Zealand’s WETA Workshop Effects, Park Road Post, Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures, Deluxe Australia and Convergen.

Scott is repped by Barry Krost Management.

Ampco snapped up the film rights to “Flamel” when they became available after having been set up previously with Lorenzo di Bonaventura in 2009 and with New Line in 2006.

Scott’s series follows 15-year-old twins Sophie and Josh as they pursue adventure across several continents with the immortal alchemist of the title. Flamel, an actual French alchemist born in 1330, was included in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first film and book in the series.

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