Apparently, no one can resist Mark Burnett when he sets his mind to something. Burnett, as anyone who hasn't been living on an island will know (well, maybe a few island dwellers know as well) is the producer of reality shows like Survivor and The Apprentice, who did what most people in Hollywood say never to do -- he used his own money to snag the rights to Michael Scott's series of fantasy novels The Immortal Nicholas Flammel (as our own Erik Davis reported in September) and was then going to shop them around looking for a home.

Well, it appears Black Friday deals have come early for Burnett because according to a recent Sci-Fi wire article, New Line Cinema has made a deal with Burnett and will be putting down its cash to finance the films adapted from the series. Once the deal is completed, Burnett and New Line will begin looking for a writer to adapt the first book of the series, The Alchemyst, which begins the story of two teenage twins who find themselves on a quest to save humanity when a book belonging to the legendary alchemist Nicholas Flammel, containing secrets that in the wrong hands could spell the end of humanity, is lost. The boys must then race against time to find it before its too late.

As a fan of these kinds of movies, this sounds like a series of books that could be turned into some good, entertaining movies. Obviously, New Line and Burnett think so too and, of course, New Line is most definitely looking for a new fantasy franchise now that The Lord of the Rings is done and The Hobbit adaptation is up in the air. In the end, even if the books do turn out to be good source material, the movies relative merit will ultimately rest most heavily with who ends up handling the writing and directing chores. Hey, now that Peter Jackson appears to have some free time on his hands, maybe he would like to jump on another fantasy franchise? Now those would be some movies worth watching. Oh wait, first he and New Line would have to kiss and make up. Forget that.