The Lost Years Of Merlin: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dimension Films is in negotiations to pre-emptively pick up a pitch from scribe Simon Kinberg based on The Lost Years of Merlin, a popular series of books by T.A. Barron.

Warner Bros. Pictures launched its successful Harry Potter franchise during di Bonaventura's tenure as production chief, and Miramax's genre arm is hoping that di Bonaventura, who brought the books to Kinberg, can help create a fantasy franchise for Dimension in the vein of "Potter" and The Lord of the Rings.

The five-book "Merlin" series, which has nearly 2 million copies in print, follows the magical adventures of Emrys, a boy with no memory of his past who will one day become the legendary Merlin, one of the most powerful wizards of all time. The books deal with themes of sacrifice, forgiveness and destiny, set against a backdrop of Welsh mythology and Arthurian lore.

Brian B.