More Young Fantasy Films Planned

Attempts to milk the kiddie film fantasy genre outside of the mega-successful “Harry Potter” and “Narnia” franchises have proven very mixed at best.

Despite the relative disappointments of “Lemony Snicket,” “Eragon” and “Bridge to Terabithia,” studios are still plowing ahead with this genre and at least two more (“The Dark is Rising,” “The Spiderwick Chronicles”) are set to debut this Fall. Now, two more projects of the like are headed into development – “Septimus Heap” and “Tunnels” reports Reuters.

Written by U.K. author Angie Sage, the ‘Heap’ series revolves around two babies that are switched at birth: one a boy who discovers his birthright as the seventh son of a seventh son, and who is destined to become a powerful wizard; the other a girl who is fated to become a princess. Warner Bros. Pictures has picked up the rights to all seven books in the series, three of which have been published so far.

Also, Relativity Media has acquired franchise rights to Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’ teen adventure novel series “Tunnels” with plans to finance, develop and produce a series of features. The books center on London teen Will Burrows, who shares a love for digging tunnels with his father. When his dad disappears down a hole in the first novel, Will heads underground with his friend Chester and discovers a spooky and potentially deadly secret.