Australian production company AMPCO Studios and Los Angeles and Australian based entertainment company Dick Cook Studios have joined forces to produce “The Alchemyst,” the first book in the six novel multi award-winning and best-selling fantasy/adventure series “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel,” by famed Irish author Michael Scott.” Production will begin in Australia in 2020.
In making the announcement, Mario Andreacchio, executive director of AMPCO Studios said, “Taking on a franchise of this stature and bringing it to the screen is a dream come true. I’m thrilled with the job opportunities it will provide across the whole franchise and over the next decade. Australia has all the creative talent and capabilities to ‘not only make it in Australia, but also create it in Australia’. It’s inspiring to be working with someone of Dick Cook’s caliberand his incredibly talented team.”
Dick Cook, founder and chairman of Dick Cook Studios added, “I’m thankful that Mario brought this project to us. Michael Scott is an amazing writer who has created an imaginative world full of nail-biting adventure. His book series is exactly the kind of quality family entertainment we look forward to producing. We are excited to be working with the very talented Mario Andreacchio to bring these stories to the millions of fans around the world.”
“The Alchemyst” is expected to commence production in 2020 and will be based out of Melbourne’s Docklands Studios with key financial assistance from both the Federal government’s Location Incentive and Offset programme and the Victorian Government. The production is expected to create at least 1,400 jobs with a central impact in Victoria, and spreading throughout the national industry.
“The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” book series, by famed Irish author Michael Scott, follows the greatest Alchemist of his time – Nicholas Flamel—who holds the secret of eternal life that is written within an ancient book he protects. When the book is stolen, modern day 15-year-old twins, Josh and Sophie, learn they are part of the prophecy written within the pages. In order to save the world, as we know it, they embark on a dangerous journey with Flamel clashing with an amazing array of characters all drawn from the incredible world of history, legend and mythology. Strange beasts, ruthless gods and lost heroes in a magical and chaotic parallel universe push our modern teenagers to discover the magic they each possess from within. One is good. The other is Evil. Which one is which?
The books have been translated into 20 languages and distributed in 37 countries. All six titles have been on the New York Times Best Seller’s list as well as USA Today’s Top 150 Best-Selling books and have been honored with numerous international awards.
Author Michael Scott said, “’ The Alchemyst is in the best of hands with Dick Cook and Mario Andreacchio. This promises to be a spectacular partnership in bringing the whole franchise to life in Australia for the world to see.”
Mario Andreacchio said “AMPCO originally partnered with DiBonaventura Pictures on The Alchemyst for early development and planning, and now to have both Dick Cook and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura together, makes for an incredible “alchemy” of experience and talent. I feel so privileged and honored to be in between these two great Hollywood icons.”
Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers), “After championing Harry Potter while I was at Warner Bros. ‘The Alchemyst’ felt like a natural evolution. The books have a similar scale of fantasy and emotion that make for a great cinematic experience. When AMPCO took it on, I was happy to help them guide it. I am pleased that it has now settled with Dick Cook Studios in Australia. I’ve known Dick a long time and I’m confident that this is going to become a landmark Australian production.”
Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia, added, “It is fantastic to see a new Australian Producer and Production Company successfully enter the realm of international franchise screen production. It is a testament to the strength of our local talent and Australia’s comprehensive screen support program that this exciting production is being made in Australia. Such a large production will trigger an enormous amount of economic activity, skills exchange and job opportunities over the course of the franchise.”
Susan Corbisiero, Manager Digital Technologies, Australian Trade and Investment Commission said, “Mario’s bold vision to help grow the Australian screen industry is evident in this exciting collaboration with Dick Cook, whose investment in Australia will create thousands of jobs and build capability across the sector, which is already held in high regard for our innovation, creativity and talent. Austrade has worked with Mario Andreacchio and AMPCO Studios for many years on their international endeavors, and are very proud to have facilitated this ambitious project with Dick Cook Studios and the Department of Communication and the Arts.”
Robert Bria, Mayor of the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters stated, “All creative industries need a strong culture and environment that encourages and supports their growth. I’m proud that Norwood has been the cultural incubator for many of Mario’s innovative developments that have had a national impact. AMPCO continues to contribute to the nation’s historical development from Norwood’s creative cultural precinct, the original place where the rebirth of the Australian film industry began in the 1970’s.”