Universal Pictures recently signed on two new producers to save the stalled fantasy adaptation.
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who are also currently working as a team on the new Van Helsing and The Mummy adaptations, have boarded Dragonology, which has been in development hell since early 2009 when Universal purchased the film rights to the 2003 Dugald A. Steer book of the same name – plus its eleven sequels.
The difficulty here is that the Dragonology books have no story. Formatted like an illustration-heavy non-fiction guide-book series, Dragonology is pure world building.
Essentially, it takes place in a fantastic alternate history in which Dragons were discovered to be real back in the Victorian era. There is no plot, just lots of information about the dragons.
Early in the development of the film, Leonard Hartman was working on the screenplay, which was to be about a team of Dragonologists who have to use their specialized knowledge to save the world from a madman.
Hartman has since been dropped form that role, though he is still on board as an executive producer.
Orci and Kurtzman’s first job then will be to find a new screenwriter for the film, that or hire a director who would then choose a screenwriter. Either way, they should make their decision soon, as the film is quickly becoming irrelevant while it languishes.
Dragonology is in development, and has no announced production or release dates.