Here There Be Dragons? Eagle Eye Screenwriter to Adapt The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica
Posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
As much as the /Filmcast crew and I want one, we might not ever get a sequel to How To Train Your Dragon. Although, that movie is proving to have legs at the box office, dropping only 14% in its third weekend of release. I guess that might be enough for Hollywood to think they’ve figured out the next great thing – people must love Dragons. And as soon as the mainstream crowds get tired of the aliens phase, they’ll need something to fill the void.
Eagle Eye scribe Travis Wright has been hired to pen an adaptation of Here, There Be Dragons and The Search for the Red Dragon, the first two books in James A. Owen‘s popular young-adult fantasy book series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica. The Gotham Group is producing the first two feature adaptations with Rick Porras, co-producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (which makes sense if you read more into this adaptation).
The book series, which is planned for nine books (four of which have been published, fifth due out in fall), begins with three strangers in 1917 London who learn of a secret book that contains the unpublished maps and journals, and together go on an epic fantasy adventure.Imagine a world where the characters and creatures from all of the famous fantasy novels from our past history, actually exist.
Here is the official plot description from the first book:
The Imaginarium Geographica. “What is it?” John asked. The little man blinked and arched an eyebrow. “It is the world, my boy,” he said. “All the world, in ink and blood, vellum and parchment, leather and hide. It is the world, and it is yours to save or lose.” An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica — an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams. Pursued by strange and terrifying creatures, the companions flee London aboard the Dragonship. Traveling to the very realm of the imagination itself, they must learn to overcome their fears and trust in one another if they are to defeat the dark forces that threaten the destiny of two worlds. And in the process, they will share a great adventure filled with clues that lead readers to the surprise revelation of the legendary storytellers these men will one day become. An extraordinary journey of myth, magic, and mystery, Here, There Be Dragons introduces James A. Owen as a formidable new talent.
The first book ends with a twist, which I can’t imagine them using to market the movies. I understand if you want to avoid potential spoilers, but here goes (highlight the invis-a-text top reveal) we learn that the three men are Jack (C. S. Lewis), John (J. R. R. Tolkien), and Charles (Williams–a lesser known writer of fantasy thrillers who belonged to the same Oxford literary discussion group, the Inklings). The idea is that their journey became the inspiration for their subsequent fiction.. (end spoiler text)
The 352-page book is available on Amazon in paperback for under $10. Here is the official plot description for the second book, The Search for the Red Dragon:
“‘The Crusade has begun’… “There’s an old myth in the Archipelago,” he went on softly, shaking his head. “A legend, really…I recall it mentioned a Crusade, but those events happened seven centuries ago. We always thought it was only a story.” It has been nine years since John, Jack, and Charles had their great adventure in the Archipelago of Dreams and became the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica. Now they have been brought together again to solve a mystery: Someone is kidnapping the children of the Archipelago. And their only clue is a mysterious message delivered by a strange girl with artificial wings: “The Crusade has begun.” Worse, they discover that all of the legendary Dragonships have disappeared as well. The only chance they have to save the world from a centuries-old plot is to seek out the last of the Dragonships — the Red Dragon — in a spectacular journey that takes them from Sir James Barrie’s Kensington Gardens to the Underneath of the Greek Titans of myth. With friends both familiar and new, they will travel through an extraordinary landscape where history, myth, and fable blend together to tell the oldest story in the world. And along the way, the Caretakers of the Geographica will discover that great deeds alone do not make heroes, and that growing up may be unavoidable…but growing old doesn’t have to be.
The second book, which is 400-pages in length, is also available in paperback for under $10.
You might remember Travis Wright as the screenwriter who was independently developing a Blade Runner sequel. I was pretty let down with the movie that resulted from Wright’s Eagle Eye script, and the screenwriter has claimed the finished film was very close to his original draft. However, the premise of this book series seems full of promise.