Peter Jackson recently did an interview with AICN in which he talks about his Temeraire adaptation project. Temeriaire is a series of books written by Naomi Novik which is a reimagining of the epic events of the Napoleonic Wars with an air force of dragons, manned by crews of aviators.
I've been looking forward to seeing this project brought to life since I heard Jackson acquired the screen rights. It's a perfect project for him. Jackson explains he hasn't been able to really do anything with it yet because this year he was busy working on The Lovely Bones, Distrcit 9, Tin Tin and The Hobbit. But he looks forward to next year in 2010 where he is going to dive in and start developing the project, not a film like we all thought it would be but a big budget TV series.
I can't see any degree of common sense in trying to mount them one at a time as feature films. To me the stories, having read the first ones, already work as this continuing, on-going saga, so I'm thinking "Is there a marketplace out there yet for a large budget mini-series?"
I guess you'd think of things like HBO and you'd think of Band of Brothers and that sort of thing, but it'd be different than that. The market's changing so much, TV networks are changing, so I'm thinking is there actually a market out there that'd give us the budget to do this properly and allow us to shoot this as a 6, 7 or 8 part series where we have freedom, we have great production values and are able to tackle it as the epic saga that it deserves.
I just can't see doing one expensive movie and if that's successful you get to do another one, but if the second one isn't quite as good maybe there'll never be a third one... I just don't see that fitting with the property at all.
I would love to see this as a TV series! There is such a huge world to build and story to tell that I think going the TV series route is the best possible way to do it. It would be awesome to see it on the big screen, but if they have to cut chunks out of the story to do it, then I'm down for a Temeraire TV series!
Jackson then goes on to say:
Yeah. So my thinking is... and I'm talking to you here having absolutely no plans in place, no deal in place... and I wouldn't. What I would do is I'd start developing the treatment, I'd start to break the storylines down to see if we can structure it in that way. I've already started to do designs. I've had Weta Workshop do a lot of work on designing the characters... the dragons... I've been working with Gus Hunter on the designs. We're well underway creating the visual look.
In 2010 one of the things I'll be doing is looking at starting the scripting process and structuring and using it to see if we can't set the project up in that way because I think that'd be the best to serve the story.
So there is no solid plan on the story being developed for TV. He is just going to start developing it and see where all the pieces fall into place. There is a chance it could be a movie as well. I guess one day we will find out what this book series will become. I'm just excited to hear he plans on getting to work on it next year.
What would you prefer for Temeraire... Big Screen or TV series?