Honestly, I will not be surprised if, any day now, The Weinstein Bros. decide to come out with their own brand of movie theater popcorn and candy, if only to tap into one more market. The Weinstein Co. has already gone urban, they're interested in converting to Catholicism (strictly for the box office numbers) and now they're going after your kids -- parents beware!

Together with their Weinstein Books division (anyone else having flashbacks of the Olsen Twins' commercial empire?), TWC has snatched up two books, which are part of a new children's series, as well as a film option on all novels and a "rolling option" for all print prequels and sequels. Someone wants to discover the next Harry Potter and The Weinsteins desperately want to be that special someone. The first title, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman (written by newbie Adrienne Kress), will be published next fall and follows 10-year-old orphan Alex Morningside on a quest to save her schoolteacher from a bunch of evil pirates.

The idea seems fun enough, but does it have all the correct ingredients to make up a successful franchise? Let's see: Pirates? Check. A lovable young orphan as the main character? Check. Super-human powers? Um ... don't see any of those in the description. Regardless, the second book is due out in the fall of 2008, and if it catches on, look for more and more of them (not all Pirate-related) to land on bookshelves amongst a host of other kid-type fantasy stuff -- all of them trying to grab the attention of that oh-so-important Potter audience who will lose their greatest friend next year ... forever???