Noticeably absent from Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword last year was the character of Merlin. The plan was that Arthur's magician mentor would get his own spin-off movie in a franchise based on Ritchie's film. That now looks... unlikely, but we may yet get a standalone Merlin film, if one unconnected to the above. Sir Ridley Scott is in talks with Disney to bring The Merlin Saga to life.
This isn't one of Disney's live-action remakes of classic animations: it isn't a new version of The Sword In The Stone. That may well have been the start of the conversation, but Scott's eye was apparently far more drawn to a series of 12 kids' novels by T.A. Barron, to which Disney have the screen rights. Barron's epic began in 1996, and covers Merlin's early years before the Round Table, in an Avalon populated by fantasy creatures.
There's already a screenplay by Philippa Boyens, who previously adapted The Lord Of The Rings with Peter Jackson. And while no deals are yet done, The Merlin Saga would certainly be a Scott-friendly project, since it comes with the opportunity for mythic sweeping vistas and widescreen battle sequences practically guaranteed. Scott has previously put his own stamp on sword-and-sandals, Biblical epic and Robin Hood. So while Scott always has literally dozens of potential projects percolating, Arthurian saga does seem a thoroughly plausible next step.
The immediate future, however, is more true-life. Scott's All The Money In The World is out today.