Ain’t It Cool News has a short interview with Peter Jackson about the Temeraire series that he had optioned the rights to years ago. Temeraire is an ongoing series of novels by Naomi Novik – there are five so far and potentially nine planned. Its story is an alternative history about dragons during the Napoleonic wars. If that doesn’t excite you, then Ain’t It Cool describes it as Master and Commander with dragons. I haven’t read the books, so I can’t vouch for whether any of them have the same sterling and impeccable character development as Master and Commander (I presumed that this was referring to the naval combat aspect, but then again the article makes specific mention of a character driven story), but the concept sounds interesting, even if dragons are kind of prosaic and played out at this point.
In the interview, Jackson talks about clearing his 2009 docket so that he can begin work on Temeraire sometime next year, but he also mentions that, faced with the possibility of an ongoing series, it doesn’t make sense to address each novel as separate films. Instead, he is looking to turn it into a mini-series for television, as the changing economic realities now make this possible. I’m glad to see more of it being done – high-quality series that are too long and involved for cinema but too short for twenty-six episodes throughout the course of six or seven seasons. HBO has helped change the landscape of quality television, and with Jackson’s clout TV networks would probably want to oblige his creative talent.