Almythea book series makes waves in Hollywood, amid movie plans

BUZZ: Pictured at Almythea's Pokolbin launch is author AJ Cootes, actor Cliff Simon and MCs Aldwyn Altuney and Johanna Griggs. Picture: Ben Kidd, MMG Photo + Cinema.
BUZZ: Pictured at Almythea's Pokolbin launch is author AJ Cootes, actor Cliff Simon and MCs Aldwyn Altuney and Johanna Griggs. Picture: Ben Kidd, MMG Photo + Cinema.

It all began with Luke Skywalker and Star Wars.

That is, a seed in the imagination of Pokolbin author AJ Cootes that led to the publication of his new book, Almythea - Rise of Wingtar.

Almythea is a planet that has, for centuries, been ruled by the tyrannical alien overlord The Lost One.

The once peaceful planet, now enslaved, wastes away as it is mined and stripped of rare refractive crystals.

A young warrior named Little Hawk encounters a mysterious and rebellious shaman named Grey Paw, changing the course of Almythea's future.

Cootes said it was a "story about hope".

"In a world ruled by evil, it will take an outsider to free his people from slavery," he said.

"Loyalties will be tested, friendships will be strained but, in the end, love conquers all."

Star Wars first drew Cootes to science fiction, changing the way he viewed things.

"It didn't matter how dull or boring my life was, I could put that movie on and the next moment I'd be off the planet on the adventure of a lifetime with Luke Skywalker," he said.

"Now I want to take others with me on the adventure of a lifetime."

A star-studded launch for the book was held in the Hunter Valley on November 3, with Stargate actor Cliff Simon and Better Homes and Gardens host Johanna Griggs among those in attendance.

Proceeds from the launch went to Beyond Blue, to fight anxiety, depression and suicide.

Subsequent launches were held at the Gold Coast and at the Supanova event in Brisbane the following week.

Simon, who played Lord Ba'al in Stargate, wrote the foreword to the book.

"It's a new mythology and an epic sci-fi space opera series," Simon said.

"Projects like this rarely come along.

"To be in on the ground floor is very exciting."

A movie is in the works, with Simon intending to play the character Grey Paw [an immortal Obi-Wan Kenobi type].

Priscilla Presley, the widow of Elvis Presley, has been lined up to play the character Queen Petelia.

"The more I heard about it, the more I liked it. It had everything in it - fantasy, it's a love story, good versus evil," Presley said, of Almythea.

Emmy-winning director Bruce Logan is involved as the lead story consultant. Logan's film credits include working on Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Tron.

"My biggest claim to fame is I blew up the Death Star in Star Wars," he said.

Logan said Almythea had the "potential to be a massive franchise".

"Almythea is probably closest to Star Wars than any other movies I've worked on."

Priscilla Presley discussing Almythea.

Priscilla Presley discussing Almythea.

Comments