We’ve been journeying through the lands of Middle Earth and strolling through the halls of Hogwarts for the past two years, thanks to the magic of the silver screen. So when do we get to soar with dragons through the skies of Pern? We’ve finally got the necessary filmmaking technology to do justice to the dragons and their riders, and the resounding success of both the Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter movies proves that fantasy is hot at the theatre right now. It ought to be a given, you say? Think again.
Fans at Sunday’s “Anne McCaffrey and Company” panel asked about a Pern movie, but Todd McCaffrey warned against too much optimism. Although recent fantasy movies have proven the genre can make big money, “it’s hard to find someone to want to spend $90 million on a movie,” McCaffrey said. Besides, Hollywood has this irritating habit of wanting to rewrite the entire story, and Ms. McCaffrey insists on keeping a lot of creative control.
According to McCaffrey, there was once an abortive attempt to make a Dragon Riders of Pern cartoon series. Unfortunately, some Hollywood creative geniuses came up with what they thought was a great change–pink and purple fire lizards. If that doesn’t make your stomach knot, try this: a bad guy on another planet throwing a switch to make the thread fall. (Yes, they wanted that, too.) So, while it may be the right time for a Pern movie, Ms. McCaffrey is content to wait until someone comes along who wants to make the right Pern movie.