Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men to be made into a film

By Henry Barnes and Agencies

Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men, an adventure about a nine-year-old girl who teams up with a troupe of small, kilted blue men to defeat an evil queen, is being made into a film by the Jim Henson Company.

Pratchett’s story, set in Discworld, but aimed at a young adult audience, will be adapted by his daughter, award-winning video game writer Rhianna Pratchett .

It’s the second time the story has been earmarked for the big screen. In 2006, Sony Pictures acquired the rights for the book and hired Sam Raimi to direct it. Pratchett, who died last year from Alzheimer’s, hated the script, telling SFX magazine that it “had all the hallmarks of something that had been good, and then the studio had got involved”. He retrieved the rights in 2009.

Wee Free Men is the first of a series of five books that feature a race of characters known as the Nac Mac Feegles, Pratchett’s spin on the mischievous fairies of Victorian children’s stories. In Pratchett’s world, the charismatic clan speak in broad Glaswegian and spend their time drinking, fighting and stealing. The book’s protagonist, Tiffany Aching, befriends them after she realises she is one of a very few human beings who can see them.

Rhianna Pratchett, known for writing the critically-acclaimed reboot of the Tomb Raider video game, told the BBC it had long been her ambition to adapt Wee Free Men for the screen. “I’ve loved the Jim Henson Company’s work all my life, so it’s a great honour to team up with them,” she said .

Terry Pratchett was sceptical about film adaptations of his work making it to the big screen after a number of projects fell through. His 1987 novel, Mort , was stalled in development because, according to Pratchett, American film executives didn’t like the idea of the personification of death, a key character in the Discworld universe.

“I wrote a couple of script drafts which went down well and everything was looking fine and then the US people said ‘Hey, we’ve been doing market research in Power Cable, Nebraska, and other centres of culture, and the Death/skeleton bit doesn’t work for us,” he told fan site alt.fan.pratchett . “It’s a bit of a downer, so lose the skeleton.”

Via guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016