The multi-talented force that is Sam Raimi has picked up his next film project. According to IGN, Raimi and Josh Donen are in talks to produce a children’s feature entitled The Familiars. The film will be based on the upcoming child fantasy book series written by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. The rights to the books have been recently acquired by Sony Pictures, with the intent of turning it into a full fledged franchise.

It turns out that the creators of the books have also been hired to write the screenplay for the film. Epstein and Jacobson actually planned to use the novels as a means to segue into the film industry. According to their reps…

“given the current marketplace that favors having an IP like a comic book or book behind a project… going the book route would be better than simply going out with a [screenplay] pitch. The approach also would give the duo an opportunity to make tracks as novelists.”

That was a smart move on both of their parts. Now they have someone such as Sam Raimi negotiating to produce their project for a major studio. The story of the first book centers on three young wizard apprentices who each have an animal companion (the familiars), and must defeat the evil queen of a scary kingdom. The familiars are an alley cat, a tree frog, and a blue jay. I have to say those aren’t the animals I’d want by my side if I was going toe to toe with a super villain.

The premise of the story seems kind of Harry Potter mixed with The Golden Compass, and a dash of lame, but if Raimi’s interested something must be good.

What do you think of Raimi producing a children’s feature? What do you think of The Familiars story, is it too Harry Potter?