David Hayter, screenwriter of the first two X-Men films, has been tapped by a consortium of production companies headed by Steven Hoban’s Copperheart Entertainment to bring “The Dragonriders of Pern,” the long running classic science fiction/fantasy franchise to the big screen. Hayter will adapt the first novel in series: “Dragonflight” in which an army of elite warriors ride a telepathically commanded fleet of firebreathing dragons in order to defend the planet of Pern from an insidious menace.
“This property has an incredible literary heritage and a rabid fanbase,” commented Hayter. “I’m really looking forward to delving into the majestic world that Anne Has created and transporting it to the screen.”
The “Dragonriders of Pern” has long been a favorite of science fiction and fantasy readers since “Dragonflight” was published in 1968. Over the years author Anne McCaffrey has won almost every award imaginable and was the first to crack the New York Times Best Seller List with a science fiction novel: “The White Dragon,” also a ‘Pern’ book, in 1978. LIterary success has not meant a smooth transition to tv or movie screens, with only aborted efforts up until now.
Producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford’s Angry Films and Entertainment One join the production soup as executive producers in what appears to be a deal where each production company gets its share of territories in which to distribute the film. This method of shared investment/risk was used to finance Peter Jackson’s massive Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
Production is scheduled to begin early next year, although two large pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place. There is no director attached, and no one has yet to claim the US distribution, which may be a very large piece of the pie.