Warner Bros. is clearly feeling the heat—and by that, we mean the fearsome fire of fictional dragons including Daenerys Targaryen’s brood on Game of Thrones, and WB’s own Smaug in The Hobbit. Dragons are having a moment, and studios are looking to capitalize on these winged reptiles for as long as possible.
To that end, Warner Bros. has optioned Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series as a potential next sci-fi/fantasy franchise.
They’ve got plenty of material to choose from: 22 books spanning 2,500 years of Dragonriders (humans telepathically bonded to their flying dragons) facing off against an alien spore called Thread, which seeks to consume anything in its path. Seeing as the books span so much time, certain novels deal with the early colonization of Pern, as well as the genetic manipulation that allowed humans to build Pern’s entire society around dragon-riding.
No producers have yet attached themselves to the project; we also have yet to see to what extent McCaffrey’s estate will be involved. McCaffrey—the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction, and the first woman to win a Nebula Award—passed away in 2011. To carry on her legacy and bring in new readers through film would be wonderful.