Things so far:
About five years ago, Warner Brothers purchased an option to buy the Septimus Heap series. This meant that they had time to work out how they were going to do the first movie, MAGYK, and indeed whether they were going to do it at all. As I understand it, movie studios option quite a few books, but that does not mean the books will necessarily be made into movies. Many fall by the wayside.
The contract agreed that the option for Septimus Heap was to be renewed after 18 months and then again after another 18 months. Warner Brothers renewed at both these stages and then asked for extra time so that they could get a really good presentation together. The presentation would consist of the screenplay (which is the script plus lots of stage direction) and also some visuals. These would show the general visual feel of the movie and would also show the landscape and specific areas, like the Castle and the Marram Marshes. The backgrounds will be computer generated and the studio working on these is Industrial Light and Magic, part of Lucasfilms. This is a really fantastic studio! We also understand, though we are not totally sure, that the action may well be image capture (think Avatar).
Along the way MAGYK the movie had an amazing piece of good fortune – David Frankel agreed to be director and also pilot MAGYK through the early, pre green-light stages. David is a whiz with scripts and characters and is a really talented director.
The last piece of news we had was a few months ago, when Warner Brothers exercised their option to purchase the series—which means they purchased the rights to make movies based on all seven books. Purchasing an option is a big commitment by a movie studio and it takes us through to another stage.
The next step will be for the movie to be given the green light. This happens when the studio have the finance in place for the film and are ready to go. It means that the movie will be made. We are not green lit yet … but we do hope this may happen soon.
I know lots of you would love to be in the movie, but whether Warner Brothers have open auditions or not is completely up to them. Casting will not take place until MAGYK gets the green light. Please, please understand that the movie studio is casting the movie, not me! If I hear anything about what they intend to do about auditions – and when we get the green light I promise I will ask – I will post it here. And Tweet it! And send it out throughout the land by Message Rat. So as soon as I hear, you will hear too.