Following the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it seems that audiences are still hooked on cinematic adaptations of literary #fantasy stories. So why hasn’t The Edge Chronicles been brought to the big screen? Enjoying something of a cult reputation, the series has sold more than 3 million copies and been translated to more than 20 languages, so it has a proven track record of captivating an audience. If given a chance, this underground fantasy series set on a giant mystical edge could become The Lord of the Rings film trilogy for this generation, and here's why.
But before we begin, reacquaint yourself with this hidden corner of Middle-earth:
1. The World
Like Middle-earth and #HarryPotter's wizarding world, the Edge is a beautiful and complex land that's ripe for exploration on the silver screen.
On the very tip of the Edge is the floating city state of Sanctaphrax, filled with schools and academies. Below is the scruffier free city of Undertown, teeming with all the races and species that populate the Edge. Beyond that is a polluted wasteland known as the Mire, then the seductive Twilight Woods where many wander off into madness, never to return. You'll also find the sprawling Deepwoods, an uncharted land crawling with unknown creatures.
The world of #TheEdgeChronicles is depicted by famed British illustrator Chris Riddell. For that reason alone filmmakers wouldn't have to spend years in pre-production interpreting the world’s look from the prose; they simply have to bring Riddell’s detailed designs into three-dimensional reality.
2. The Franchise Possibilities
There are currently 14 books in the series. Most of them are trilogies, telling different stories set at various points in the history of the world, while others are simply standalone tales exploring the corners of the land.
There is already enough material for a fully realized, fleshed-out cinematic universe. With this many books, the scale of a film series could rival the magnitude of the #Marvel universe, or the Harry Potter and #Middleearth films.
Of course, a fantasy series doesn’t just need a thorough universe and a treasure trove of source material to be successful. There needs to be a story with heart and characters we can relate to.
Paul Stewart, the writer of the books, has conceived a saga focusing on generations of fathers, sons and daughters and how they deal with war, loss and hatred. The best example of the emotional power of The Edge Chronicles is in the very first book.
In Beyond the Deepwoods, a boy called Twig ventures out into the mysterious Deepwoods where he encounters a Banderbear. The two become firm friends, forming an almost brotherly bond — but it does not last. Those who have read Beyond the Deepwoods will know of the emotional consequences.
So with its detailed world, abundance of material and great storytelling, The Edge Chronicles would make for a perfect film series, possibly the best in decades.