After the success of young adult series such as the Harry Potter books, Twilight, and now The Hunger Games, Hollywood is constantly trying to find the next big thing to bring in all that filthy, filthy young adult lucre. Now Warner Bros. is gambling on yet another hyped-up series, this time one described as “Harry Potter in space.” So, I’m guessing the series is just 300 pages of a boy wizard floating lifelessly through the interstellar void.
The Planet Thieves, written by Dan Krokos, won’t even be on shelves until next May, but Warner Bros. was impressed enough by the book that they snatched up the film rights yesterday. So what’s the concept that had the studio opening its checkbook? Here’s the synopsis from Publisher’s Weekly:
When the crew of the SS Egypt gets massacred by an alien race, Mason Stark, a thirteen-year-old cadet in the Earth Space Command, must lead his fellow cadets in a daring surprise attack to retake the ship, and recover a stolen technology that could spell the end of planet Earth.
We obviously haven’t read Krokos’ book, or indeed even heard of it prior to this morning, but what little information we have at this point puts a little smile on my face. The title sounds like something that should have been written by Robert Heinlein or Andre Norton back in the day, the sort of musty old paperback I would regularly raid from my dad’s closet. Even the story, casting a young protagonist out on some far-flung space adventure, reminds me of the hours I spent reading Have Space Suit — Will Travel and the like.
Granted, a great concept does not a great book or movie make, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this one. We’ve had plenty of all-ages fantasy series grace the big screen. It’s about time a good old-fashioned space opera gets a turn.
You can read more about the deal over at Deadline.
Header art from Robert Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit – Will Travel