Michael Matthews is set to direct Disney’s ‘Merlin’.
The ‘Love & Monsters’ filmmaker has been tapped to helm an adaptation of T.A. Barron’s novel series that places King Arthur’s wizardry mentor at the centre of the story.
Sir Ridley Scott, who has helmed the new historical drama ‘The Last Duel’, was attached to direct previously but dropped out of the project as a result of his busy schedule.
Gil Netter is producing the film from the latest draft of the script by Chris Weitz. Sources suggest that the movie is still in early development with Disney’s live-action team.
Barron’s books were published in the late 1990s and early 2000s and followed the origin story of a young Merlin who would go on to become the mentor of the iconic literary character King Arthur.
Although the latter has been at the centre of several movies, the only high-profile story to focus on Merlin was the NBC miniseries that featured Sam Neill in the titular role.
Matthews has recently directed the acclaimed adventure film ‘Love and Monsters’ that starred Dylan O’Brien and Jessica Henwick.
Meanwhile, Ridley previously revealed that he would never work with Disney on a ‘Star Wars’ movie, as he feels that he’s too “dangerous” for the franchise.
The ‘Gladiator’ director said: “I’m too dangerous for that. I think they [Disney/Lucasfilm] like to be in control, and I like to be in control myself.
“When you get a guy who’s done a low-budget movie and you suddenly give him $180 million, it makes no sense whatsoever. It’s f***ing stupid.”