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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Beyonce Knowles'The Lion King' film premiere,

    ABC Announces Behind-the-Scenes Special for Beyoncé's 'Lion King' LP

    ABC has announced a new behind-the-scenes look into the making of Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” LP, which is set to air September 16 on ABC at 10 p.m. EST. Titled “Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift,” the new hour-long special will allow viewers to “experience the process” behind the “Lion King” companion album, according [...]

  • Jason Lei Howden, Samara Weaving and

    Daniel Radcliffe On Acting With Weapons Nailed To Your Hands

    How did “Guns Akimbo” director and writer Jason Lei Howden convince Daniel Radcliffe to play a character with guns nailed to his hands? Easy, he sent him the script. Radcliffe joined Howden and “Ready or Not’s” breakout star Samara Weaving in the Variety’s Toronto Film Festival studio, presented by AT&T to talk the limits of [...]

  • Box Office: It Chapter Two Maintains

    Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Continues International Reign With $47 Million

    Pennywise’s reign of terror hasn’t wavered: Warner Bros.’ “It Chapter Two” maintained first place on box office charts, led by another strong showing overseas. The sequel, based on Stephen King’s horror novel, generated another $47 million at the international box office for a foreign tally of $169 million. After two weeks of release, “It Chapter [...]

  • First still from the set of

    Taika Waititi’s 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Top Prize at Toronto Film Festival Awards

    Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the coveted People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The honor positions the film for a potential Oscar run and bolsters its awards chances. That’s good news for Fox Searchlight, which must have been disappointed by the lackluster critical reception for the movie, a dark comedy [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Racks Up Solid $33 Million Debut, 'Goldfinch' Bombs

    “Hustlers” rolled in the Benjamins this weekend, collecting $33.2 million when it debuted in 3,250 North American theaters. Boosted by rave reviews and stellar word of mouth, “Hustlers” beat expectations and now ranks as the best start for an STX film, along with the biggest live-action opening weekend for stars Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. [...]

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content