Imagine Entertainment (Ron Howard's production company) and Universal Pictures are negotiating with the estate of E.E. "Doc" Smith for film rights to his ground-breaking Lensmen novels, according to SCI FI Wire.

The Lensmen series has been credited as a primary influence of both George Lucas (Star Wars) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), as well as the direct inspiration of DC Comic's Green Lantern corps. The series, first published in the 1930s, is considered one of the earliest serialized SF sagas, and Smith is widely considered the father of the "space opera" genre.

Smith was a major writer during the pulp science fiction era, starting in the late 1920s. The Lensman series began in 1934 with Triplanetary, which was released as a serial in the magazine Amazing Stories.

The series spans millions of years, recounting the struggle between the good Arisians and the evil Eddorians. The books chronicle the rising role of humanity in the ultimate battle as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Kim Kinnison, who comes to control a key artifact: the lens, a bracelet that bestows telepathy and other powers.

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