Paul Haggis May Helm Ranger’s Apprentice


United Artists has optioned the film rights for children’s literature series “Ranger’s Apprentice,” a project that could be directed by Oscar-winning Crash helmer Paul Haggis.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio said Haggis had been in discussions to adapt and direct the first movie of the series, but those negotiations were halted by the writers strike, which is now in its third month with no end in sight.

The MGM-owned studio, run by Tom Cruise and his business partner, is close to sealing its own contract with the Writers Guild of America, which would allow it to work again with union scribes.

The fantasy series by Australian author John Flanagan follows the adventures of an orphan named Will who becomes an apprentice ranger and fights to keep the mythical kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors and other dangers with the help of his master Halt.

Flanagan’s first book, “The Ruins of Gorlan,” was released in Australia in November 2004 and seven months later in the United States. Seven books have been released to date.