Considering that dragons are so hot right now, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for a studio to snap up Dragonriders Of Pern, which has “dragons” right there in the name. But now Warner Bros. has acquired the film rights to this epic, enduring fantasy series, and it can proceed to turn the beloved novels by Anne McCaffrey into blockbuster after blockbuster. Just in time, too: With the final installment of The Hobbit smoldering out this December, Dragonriders Of Pern represents another chance for the studio to create a new beloved fantasy franchise, along with its Dungeons & Dragons and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them projects.
McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series consists of 22 books—or 24, depending on how you count the short stories—each of which was presumably marked with a Warner Bros.’ “SYNERGY” stamp upon successful acquisition. That’s more than three times the amount of source material than the Harry Potter series, and if Pern gets the same treatment as The Hobbit, well, Dragonriders could be headed to the studio Sarlacc pit, where fans can watch as their cherished fantasy series is slowly digested by Warner Bros. for a thousand years.
The original Dragonriders trilogy was first published from 1968 to 1978—a distant, mist-shrouded time when books were not immediately boxed up and shipped out into big-budget productions. Helpfully, the fantasy is one of the few solid series with a kickass female protagonist, a gender overwhelmingly lacking in the current fantasy landscape. Pern heroine Lessa is like a way better Daenerys Targeryen: She rides a golden queen dragon with whom she can communicate telepathically; she uses said telepathy to influence those around her; and in addition to regaining the family throne from usurpers, Lessa also time travels to recoup the resources Pern needs to fight off spores that float down from another planet and eat all organic matter. She’s also not blonde and is far more prone to making mistakes and acting like a human. And soon, she may get her very own endless movie franchise to do it in.