Warner Bros. Loves Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravenese to write and direct

By Empire’s reckoning, approximately 7,829 movies have attempted to take the mantle of ‘the new Harry Potter’ since Harry Potter came along, and approximately 7,829 have failed miserably. Inkheart, anyone? The Dark Is Rising? Era-bloody-gon? Nope, nope, and nope again.

But Warner Bros. – the studio that is home to Harry, of course – is hoping that it’s 7,830th time lucky with Beautiful Creatures, a fantasy epic that will be written and directed by Richard LaGravenese.

Published today, Beautiful Creatures is the first of a five-part series of novels written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl that tell the story of a young man – Ethan Wate – who becomes involved with a supernaturally-powered young girl – Lena Duchannes – whose family is the victim of a powerful curse that stretches back generations.

So there’s Potter in there, and a soupcon of Twilight too, which can’t hurt these days. LaGravenese has dabbled in fantasy before – he wrote The Fisher King and the upcoming The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader – but this will be a departure for him as a director, after the likes of P.S. I Love You and Freedom Writers.

"I love supernatural stories that have well-drawn mythologies, and I liked that this book has all the basic elements of a classic first love story with a supernatural layer over it," LaGravenese told Variety.

"So the first time they hear the words ‘boyfriend' and ‘girlfriend,' they accidentally overhear each other telepathically. Their first kiss comes after he saves her life, and their first date is part of a bigger adventure that leads to the unraveling of the mysterious curse that haunts her family."

Could be intriguing. And if it can tap into the teenage girl demographic that has powered the Twilight saga to full-blown phenomenon status, we’re not writing this one off at all. The new Harry Potter? You never know…