Peter Jackson fights for the Napoleonic Wars

“Rings” director eyes “Temeraire” film


While MGM madly tries to scramble together a plan to get him onboard their recently announced “Hobbit” project – as of yesterday, he hadn’t heard from them – Director Peter Jackson is turning his attention to another fantasy flick.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson has dipped into his discretionary fund to option “Temeraire,” a historical fantasy series by first-time novelist Naomi Novik.

The “Temeraire” saga reimagines the world of the Napoleonic Wars with the addition of an air force of dragons and valiant aviators. It centers on British naval Capt. Will Laurence, who captures a French ship, where he discovers an unhatched dragon egg in the hold — a gift from the Emperor of China intended for Napoleon. When the egg hatches, he is forced to give up his naval career to become captain of the dragon he names Temeraire.

“’Temeraire’ is a terrific meld of two genres that I particularly love — fantasy and historical epic,” Jackson said. “I can’t wait to see Napoleonic battles fought with a squadron of dragons. That’s what I go to the movies for.”

Jackson has also optioned Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones” and is writing the adaptation with partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens on spec with the intent of speaking to distributors after the script is done. He plans to direct the movie in second-half 2007.