Deryni Rising: Columbia to develop the medieval fantasy as a franchise

Fri October 24, 2008 Return to Film News

Columbia is developing an adaptation of Katherine Kurtz's fantasy novel Deryni Rising. Alex Sabeti has written the spec script.

The story is set in a medieval kingdom of humans alongside the Deryni, a race of people with psychic and magical abilities. The first novel centers on a young prince who, after the death of his father the king, must defend his throne from a Deryni usurper.


Sabeti, repped by UTA and Mosaic, is best known for writing "The Art of Cool," his high school comedy take on Sun Tzu's "Art of War" that Columbia picked up in 2006. After the sale, Sabeti didn't want to be pigeon-holed as a teen comedy scribe, so he decided to look for stories in an action genre to prove he had more than one voice.

"Deryni" was one of his favorite books as a boy, and Sabeti thought it offered feature franchise potential. He used the earnings from his first showbiz sale to option the entire book series. He adapted it on spec, which gave him a greater degree of control over how he told the book's story.

Columbia now takes over the movie rights to the books, which it hopes to turn into a tentpole franchise.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Related Titles: Deryni Rising