'Tomb Raider' Writers to Adapt 'Young Merlin' for Disney (Exclusive)

"Life of Pi" producer Gil Netter is on board to produce the adaptation of the T.A. Barron book series.

Disney’s Merlin project has conjured up a pair of writers.

Patrick Massett and John Zinman, the scribes who wrote Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, have been tapped to pen the adaptation of The Lost Years of Merlin, the YA book series written by T.A. Barron.

Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side) is producing.

Disney’s movie adaptation is being titled Young Merlin at this stage. The books centered on a teen who will one day be the powerful mage who sits at the right hand of King Arthur. But first he has many lessons to master, including how to temper his darker leanings and his pride.

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Much of the action takes place on the enchanted isle of Fincayra, where the teen wizard embarks on many a quest with female companion Rhia and wannabe jester Bumbelwy. The antagonist is Rhita Gawr, a spirit world warlord.

Over the years, several other companies have tried to mount an adaptation of the books, including Miramax, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing, and Paramount, where Simon Kinberg was working on it. As late as 2011, Warner Bros. was developing a script with Donald De Line producing.

Zinman and Massett wrote the indie drama Gold, which landed on the Black List and had Michael Mann attached at one point. They also worked on Go Like Hell, which has Joseph Kosinski attached to direct, Tom Cruise attached to star and Brad Pitt circling to join them.

The pair are repped by CAA, Industry Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.

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