Disney Conjuring Up Young Merlin

Writers Patrick Massett and John Zinman hired for the first spell

T.A. Barron's Merlin The Lost Years

You may think that the BBC’s Merlin series covered the idea of the legendary Arthurian wizard’s younger days fairly comprehensively. Hollywood disagrees, and Disney has just rounded up two writers for its take in the form of Patrick Massett and John Zinman to tackle Young Merlin.

The pair, who were among the scribes on the first Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider film and have been working on Go Like Hell for Tom Cruise, have been tasked to adapt T.A. Barron’s young adult tome Merlin: The Lost Years, which the studio is currently calling Young Merlin.

The Lost Years kicks off a series of twelve books so far. Barron’s story in the first is set on the enchanted isle of Fincayra, where the teen wizard embarks on quests with female companion Rhia and wannabe jester Bumbelwy. The villain is Rhita Gawr, a spirit world warlord. Naturally, our hero has a lot to learn before he can become the powerful magician who helps King Arthur.

Merlin has been a tough nut to crack on screen, with companies such as Miramax, Paramount and Warners all making attempts in the last few years, roping in the likes of Simon Kinberg and Lorenzo di Bonaventura along the way. Disney will no doubt be hoping the crack the apparent curse that hangs over the title.