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Universal To Study Dragonology

Universal has bought the rights to the children's book series DRAGONOLOGY by Dugald A. Steer, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

The mock nonfiction books will be adapted by Leonard Hartman, who will write and exec produce.

Steer's novels follow the premise that dragons actual exist, revealed by Victorian dragonologist Ernest Drake, and should be studied the same as any other rare series.

The fantasy adventure revolves around a group of dragonologists who go on a quest around the world to keep a corrupt man from taking control of the world's dragons and using them to wipe out humans.

The first book was published in the U.K. in 2003 by Templar and in the U.S. by Candlewick Press. It has sold more than 2.3 million copies worldwide in 32 languages.

The subsequent novels deal with how to track and tame dragons to a code-writing kit, bringing total worldwide sales of all DRAGONOLOGY titles to 5.7 million, according to the publisher.

Templar recently signed a licensing agreement with video game producer Codemasters to develop DRAGONOLOGY into Nintendo Wii and DS games.

Universal SVP of Production Jeff Kirschenbaum is in charge for the studio. Hartman recently wrote the script for Universal's FURY, which is in development.