Sony Pictures has just acquired the rights to an awesome-sounding new movie called Winter's Knight. It's a viking mythology based origin story of St. Nick and Christmas. There was an intense bidding war for the film between Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal, but Sony won it, and they paid $1 million for the spec that will be written by newbie scribes Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton.
The studio also landed Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg to bring the project to life. They will start working on this film after they are finished with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Apparently the story is based on L. Frank Baum's 1902 book The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus. Baum is also the author of The Wizard of Oz. This has the potential to actually be a pretty epic movie. Here's a little run down on the book for those of you not familiar:
Santa Claus, as a baby is found in the Forest of Burzee by Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World, and placed in the care of the lioness Shiegra. The Wood Nymph, Necile, breaks the law of the forest and takes the baby because she desires to raise a child of her own as mortals do, convincing Ak that since he made the law, he can allow an exception, and agrees to have both Necile and Shiegra care for the baby. Necile calls him Claus, meaning "little one" in the old Burzee language, but Queen Zurline gives him the more formal name Neclaus, "Necile's Little One" (According to a footnote "Nicholas" is an erroneous name based on common convention). He is educated by the immortals of the Forest, including:
The Fairies who watch over humans
The Wood Nymphs who watch over trees
The Gnomes who watch over rocks
The Knooks, who watch over animals
The Ryls who watch over flowers
The Sleep Fays who bring sleep to the world
The Light ElvesThe Sound Imps
The Wind DemonsThe Water Spirits
Upon reaching young adulthood, Ak decides it is time for Claus to see how other mortals live. He sees war, brutality, poverty, child neglect and child abuse and is frustrated by mortals' very existence. Ak encourages him not to shy away from the mortals, because he is one, and must learn to live among them, as he cannot reside in Burzee as an adult. He settles in the nearby Laughing Valley of Hohaho, where the immortals regularly visit and assist him, and Necile gives him a little cat named Blinky.
There's no word on how much of the book will be incorporated into the film, but there are enough ideas in there to bring audiences one hell of an awesome Santa Claus movie.