Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders will finally take flight as a movie

The Dragonriders of Pern series of books has been stuck in Development Hell for years. You know what Development Hell is, right? It's more like limbo: a place where some great ideas are stuck and unable to actually get turned into movies. Now the series has FINALLY been freed from that Hell.

According to Deadline, Dragonriders of Pern is going into production in early 2012:

David Hayter has been set to write the script for Dragonlight, the first novel in a series that includes 22 novels generated by Anne McCaffrey. Steve Hoban's Copperheart Entertainment has teamed with Hayter and Benedict Carver's Dark Hero Studios and Angry Films partners Don Murphy and Susan Montford on the project.

Hoban has apparently been trying to bring Dragonriders to the big screen for 14 years. It looks like he's about to succeed.

Let's rewind. In 2002, Ron Moore's attempt to turn Dragonriders into a pilot for a TV series met with disaster: Moore had assembled the cast, the production crew and the special effects team and was within days of shooting when it all suddenly went awry:

Crashdown reported from a Sci-Fi Wire article:

The WB ordered a "dialogue polish" from a second writer, and when Moore saw the rewrite, he felt the series had changed "fundamentally." "It was a different show," he said. "I had tried ... to keep the spirit of the books alive ... and make it a classy, interesting show. And ... what was evident in the draft they commissioned, they wanted a different show. It was more Buffy-esque and Xena-esque. It was something they felt more comfortable with on The WB. ... There wasn't a way to split the difference. Ultimately, they decided we should just let the project go. It was their decision. It was very disappointing for everybody.

Dragonriders of Pern is about a fantasy world that is subject to the devastation of Thread, a rain that destroys everything it touches. And this world can only be saved by the dragons and their riders, who share a telepathic bond. There are 21 books, novellas and short-story collections in the series—with more being written.

Author Anne McCaffrey was the first woman to win the Hugo and the Nebula awards, both for her novella "Weyr Search," which became the first story in the Dragonriders series.

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