‘Dragonriders of Pern’ movie news!


“Transformers” producer Don Murphy also joins as executive producer and Entertainment One to take several international territories on “Dragonflight” the first novel in Anne McCaffrey’s hugely popular “The Dragonriders of Pern” series to be penned by David Hayter

TORONTO and LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2011) – Steven Hoban’s Copperheart Entertainment has closed agreements with David Hayter and Benedict Carver’s Dark Hero Studios, Don Murphy and Susan Montford’s Angry Films and Entertainment One to adapt the classic science fiction/fantasy novel “Dragonflight” by Anne McCaffrey into a feature film.

In “Dragonflight”, the first in the epic “Dragonriders of Pern” series of novels, an elite group of warriors take to the skies on the backs of giant, fire-breathing, telepathic dragons to save the wondrously exotic planet of Pern from a terrifying airborne menace.

Hayter will pen the screenplay. Hoban and Carver will produce the film with Murphy, Montford and Hayter executive producing. Patrice Theroux negotiated for Entertainment One to handle distribution in Canada and is in discussion to acquire a number of other territories including the UK, Benelux and Australia. “Dragonflight” will be an international co-production, financed by several distribution partners around the world in much the way “The Lord of the Rings” was put together. Production is scheduled to begin early 2012. No director is currently attached.

The first book in the “Dragonriders of Pern” series appeared in 1968 and new editions continue to be published to this day. The series has sold millions of copies around the world, won numerous literary awards and spawned many spinoffs, including videogames, board games and graphic novels.

“These books have remained popular bestsellers for over forty years because of their breathtaking adventures, vivid cast of characters and spectacular creatures,” said Hoban. “The world of Pern is a unique and highly cinematic combination of science fiction and fantasy.”

“This property has an incredible literary heritage and a rabid fan base,” said Hayter. “I’m really looking forward to delving into the majestic world that Anne has created and transporting it to the screen.”

“The fans and I have been waiting, not so patiently, for a long time to see Pern and her characters on the big screen,” said Anne McCaffrey. “I couldn’t be more thrilled that a writer with David’s tremendous creativity and track record of translating beloved source material into fantastic movies has decided to make this his next epic adventure.”

Hoban’s Copperheart has produced a diverse body of work including the Vincenzo Natali directed science-fiction thriller, “Splice”, which was released in Canada by Entertainment One and the US by Warner Bros; the 2005 Oscar®-winning computer animated short, “Ryan”; and the world’s first Imax 3D animated film, “Cyberworld”. Copperheart is repped by Jon Levin and CAA.

Hayter and Carver formed Dark Hero in 2009 to produce feature films and television programming in the action, fantasy, sci-fi and horror genres. The company has a firstlook deal with Entertainment One. As a screenwriter, Hayter has adapted a number of celebrated graphic novels to film, including “X-Men”, “X2: X-Men United” and “Watchmen”. Carver’s producing credits include “Doomsday” and the upcoming “Tekken”. Dark Hero is repped by UTA and attorney Dave Feldman. Don Murphy’s first production was the 1994 Oliver Stone directed, Quentin Tarantino written “Natural Born Killers”. Murphy has produced several high-profile movie adaptations of books, graphic novels and toys, including “Apt Pupil”, “From Hell”, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and the blockbuster “Transformers” franchise. Susan Montford’s first production with Murphy was the 2007 “Shoot ‘Em Up”, which starred Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. They are in postproduction on “Real Steel”, which stars Hugh Jackman, and is scheduled for release by Walt Disney Pictures this fall.

Murphy and Montford worked with Hoban and Entertainment One on “Splice.” Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a leading international entertainment company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of film and television content. The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, family programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,400 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.

Anne McCaffrey is the reigning queen of science fiction fantasy literature. In a career spanning over 40 years, McCaffrey has won virtually every honor imaginable, including being the first woman to win the prestigious Hugo and Nebula Awards. Her 1978 Pern novel, The White Dragon, was the first science fiction book to make the New York Times Best Seller List. In 2005 McCaffrey received the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2006 McCaffrey was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

  • winni dahl

    In 1998, there was a sight, that asked who should be in the movie, the different people of the planet Pern, will that be up to suggest certain actors for the movie? new blood should be introduced, and sure, some of those who all are familiar with, is ok too, its the director who is willing to take on the project, I think it should be the one that put together Lord of the Rings.

    I read the series, several times, and for those who also know the series, the story line cannot be other than what is in the books, so please who ever does write for the screen, do not deviate! thanks

    respectfully winni

  • I agree, I think that someone who has more experience transforming books into movies, such as director (or producer) who made Lord of the Rings. Though fmr Xmen or Transformers is pretty good as well, because I’ve seen both and they came out good 🙂

    I also hope they dont mess with it too much- the plotline of each book should be made into a separate movie, like the lord of the rings movies 🙂

    And i hope the dragons stay true TO WHAT THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS IN THE BOOKS. hopefully 😀 😀 😀 😀 I’m so excited!

  • kath

    i agree with the above….peter Jackson surely is hard to beat:)

  • Kohote

    Hey guys! any chance the dragonflight movie is coming out this year?

  • Parker

    I can absolutely not wait for this movie. I realize that there will probably some variations to the books, but with such a seemingly competent set of people working on it already my hopes are very high.

    @Kohote: The article said they were going to begin production in 2012, so it will probably be a bit before it will come out on the big screen. We’ve all waited this long, though, another year or two isn’t that bad.

  • bmore

    So sad that Anne McCaffrey, who has waited so long for this, will not be there to sit in a movie house and see her story “brought to life” in a whole new sense. Those of us who have lived and breathed her novels since we were children will be there for her, praying and hoping that whomever takes on this project will not subvert or change a story that has stood the test of time and generations. PLEASE, whomever you are, we are begging you to do justice to a story that has brought joy to so many of us. Avoid ‘putting your mark’ on it and you will win a legion of devoted fans who will follow you and support you with their wallets! I WISH this movie could be made like LOTR, but, barring that, an Avatar version would work as well. No ‘big name’ A-list stars though!

  • CTLoucks

    As bmore stated follow the plan there are reference books like the Dragon riders guide to Pern for the animals and genetics as well as the drink, clothing, identifying notts for rank and coat of arms. Yeah a Pern-a-holic. Don’t forget to look for those paintings she commissioned of her view of her characters some of us have read them and do pay attention with our wallets and word of mouth. Please do not take artistic licence with something that is much loved and re-read regularly but have fun. Our April Fools lady had a great sense of humour. So this Canuck awaits the colouring of the world of Pern with great anticipation.

  • Leo

    Ive been waiting and checking ever since I read the first book in grade 8!
    Anne is AMAZING!
    Now Ender’s Game might be made!
    2 of my favs!

  • Sally

    Just stop discussing it and HURRY UP AND MAKE IT

  • Fiona

    I have loved Pern and its inhabitants since I first read Dragon Singer whilst in hospital aged 13 some 33 years. I cries for the whole day when I heard Anne had passed and immediately commenced to read the whole series in order – again, Lessa F’lar and friends still thrill me and I always wished to be on a dragon soaring around the sky’s of Pern, so imagine my joy when Todd created his Character Fiona complete with gold Dragon Talenth, I was a dragon rider at last. My joy would now be complete when they made the film I thought to myself, so as you can bet I am very excited. As an artist I have drawn and painted many Dragons but never Pernese ones, now I think its about time I did, and sent them to the producers so they know how they should look, after all we, the die hard long time fans of Pern know best don’t we?

  • Marty

    I only learned today that Anne passed away. Life is what it is but it is still surprising and sad that such a great woman and talent has left us. I wish her family well.

    Like so many fans, I tried contacting Anne through her web site, and received a response from Todd. I had asked Anne, that of all the artists’ representations of her dragons which artist’s work came the closest to her vision. Todd wrote that Anne was most satisfied with Michael Whelan’s and those are the ones that I’ve absolutely adored since they were used for paperback editions.

    These are the dragons that I think should be used for any movies; not horned and scaly things. Not just because Whelan’s dragons might have been Anne’s favorites, but also because they’re different from other dragons shown in movies and tv. Besides, these dragons evolved on Pern, another planet, so it stands to reason that they wouldn’t and shouldn’t look like Earth’s legendary dragons, right?

  • Jay?

    Oh good god. I hated all three transformers movies, the second most of all. I seriously do NOT want that director touching pern.

    Wasn’t Ronald D Moore interested at one point? He worked on the new Battlestar Galactica, and Star trek: TNG and DS9. A much better fit i think. Peter Jackson is hit or miss. Lord of the Rings was a triumph, but king kong was garbage.

  • tim kunk

    I am a fan, have reread the books often, over the last 30 years,
    I have three wishes for this film.
    1) Stay true to ANNA! She is the one who created PERN, her vision, is the only vision of PERN (if they have questions, they ask, and fallow Todd) it does not need up dated, it does not need modernized, it does not need re-visioned in any way.
    2) Producers who understand rule one, and will bitch slap any director who even thinks of breaking rule 1.
    3) No big name actors, actresses (egos) in this movie (ie lets not see actor/actress X interpet this film to fit their image) a director strong enough to bitch slap any actor/ actress who tries to make the part fit them! They are being given the privilege of trying to bring life to a world with inhabitants that many fans love, and hold very dear. I don’t care if you have an acting award ANNA has writing awards,

    In reply to Ronald D Moore being anywhere near this, only if they put him in a barrel. stop up the bung, ship him to the desert, and leave him there, then he can die happily knowing, he made a huge contribution to the PERN movie, and its’ fans.

    Just found out about Anna. I add one more wish That it not insult her.

  • tim kunk

    Sorry Anne! spell check is not the bomb.

  • Wanda Taylor

    I believe that if there is a movie depicting the beautiful lands of Pern and the compassion, dedication, and unyielding characters, that Anne Mccaffrey would be sitting there with all of us as we relive the adventures. I for one would love to see this come to pass, as there is no better tribute to such an Outstanding Author. It should have the heart of the people who love their land so much that they are willing to sacrifice all they are, and have to rid it of the dreaded Thread.. What makes the books so real are the characters, their love, devotion to each other and the common cause. There is no better time to show the world that if we all stand together WE can accomplish anything..
    Thank you Anne Mccaffrey for giving me endless hours of laughter, tears, and unity of spirit.

  • Salvatore R LaRosa

    She’s the female Tolkien. Rivals Lord of the Rings.

  • Robert

    Unbelievable, my favorite author of all time, and she is finely getting one of her books (Dragon flight) made into a movie. I can not wait! To those of you that are putting it together, PLEASE PLEASE stay true to the storyline. So many great books that are transferred to movie are ruined by fiddling with the storyline. That is why we the fans love the books in the first place, they were already written great! DON’T SCREW IT UP!!

  • I haven’t heard of Dragonriders of Pern (the book or the movie), but I’ll have to check them out! I love seeing how producers adapt books to the big screen. 🙂

  • Chris

    “And i hope the dragons stay true TO WHAT THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS IN THE BOOKS. hopefully I’m so excited!”

    Assuming it actually is produced this time, which I cannot help but doubt. As for staying true, I wouldn’t bid to much on that either, after all even her own son hasn’t been true to it!

  • stephanie

    I really would love to see Anne’s work represented faithfully on the big screen. I adore all of the PERN books Anne wrote. (Don’t think much of Todd’s style of writing – not the same depth as his mom – the characters don’t hold me.)
    To whomever does the screenplay – FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE DON’T MUCK IT UP!!!! We know the characters and the stories!! Read the books yourself and do a proper job. You’ll win legions of devoted fans! Dragonflight is an amazing story and has to be done correctly.

  • Ann

    I’m getting on in years infact 60 next month, will I get to see a Pern Dragon movie??????

  • Carol

    It has been so long since the original splash about them getting Dragonriders of Pern into production. I want them to do a great job like Avatar. I want them to get on with it but be true to what Anne wrote. It is her world and we want to visit on the big screen! I kind of think that because the different books overlap, they could use all the ones about F’lar and Lessa and Robinton. Do a timeline and break it down into three different movies with the beginning starting with F’lar’s search and every hold’s disbelief that thread would fall again. If you remember, Robinton was there when Lessa was found. Use Robinton as the engine through the story. That will allow you to follow up with Menolly’s firelizards story for the second movie, then ending that movie with the discovery of Aivas. Then go to the next movie in the battle against those who saw Aivas as the Abomination and the end of the threat of thread and finally the death of Robinton. When you use all the books, it come together as a phenominal three movie series. I believe!

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