'Monster High' Movie Finds Director

Ari Sandel - S 2015
Courtesy of WME
Universal's adaptation of the Mattel toy property is being produced by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, among others.

Ari Sandel, who made his directorial debut with The DUFF, is coming on board to direct Monster High, Universal’s adaptation of the popular Mattel toy line.

The studio has been developing the project since 2009 with, among others, producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and their Fake Empire shingle. The two also worked on the screenplay (the initial writers were Alfred Gough and Miles Millar). It is, however, the first time it’s had a director in play, with Sandel in negotiations to helm.

The female-skewing property focuses on the spawn of famous monsters including Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman (Draculaura, Frankie Stein and Clawdeen Wolf, respectively) undergoing the trials and tribulations of high school. High is not just toys but involves animated movies, video games, apps, among other games and activities.

Mattel’s Playground Productions is executive producing.

Sandel has proven to have a light touch with teen-oriented material not only with The DUFF, CBS Films’ well-regarded adaptation of the YA novel by Kody Keplinger, but also with Aim High, the McG-produced digital series about a teen spy that Sandel helmed.

Sandel is repped by WME and Principato-Young.