EXCLUSIVE: Michael Matthews is set to direct Disney’s Merlin, an adaptation of T.A. Barron’s novel series where King Arthur’s wizardry mentor is at the center of the story. Ridley Scott, who directed the 20th Century Medieval pic The Last Duel, which bows today in theaters, was attached to direct at one point but parted ways due to his busy schedule. Sources say the film is still in early development with Disney’s live-action team.
Gil Netter is producing from with the latest draft by Chris Weitz.
Based on the Barron books, the series followed the origin story of a young Merlin who would go on to become the mentor of the classic literary character King Arthur. While several films have focused on the King Arthur legend, the only high-profile story to focus specifically on the story of Merlin was the NBC miniseries Merlin that starred Sam Neill.
Matthews most recently directed the critically-acclaimed adventure film, Love & Monsters starring Dylan O’Brien and Jessica Henwick for Paramount and 21 Laps, which was a hit PVOD release in fall of 2020 and will be released internationally by Netflix in April 2021. He first got attention for his contemporary African Spaghetti Western Five Fingers For Marseilles which was written by Sean Drummond and premiered at TIFF in 2017 in the Discovery Program.
He is repped by Range Media Partners, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
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