Disney Picks Up Megan Whalen Turner YA Fantasy 'The Thief' (Exclusive)

Megan Whalen Turner and The Thief Book Cover-H-2020
Courtesy of J. Palsa; Courtesy of HarperCollins
Brian Duffield, who last wrote the Dylan O’Brien-starring creature feature 'Love and Monsters,' is on board to write the adaptation.

Disney has optioned The Thief, the acclaimed YA fantasy novel by Megan Whalen Turner.

Brian Duffield, who last wrote the Dylan O’Brien-starring creature feature Love and Monsters, is on board to write the adaptation while Jim Whitaker, a Disney-based producer whose credits include Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made and Pete’s Dragon, is producing.

The studio’s live-action team is spearheading the project, which is in early development for Disney+.

Thief is Turner’s first book in a series known as The Queen’s Thief, with the initial book hitting shelves in 1996. The tome earned a Newbery Honor award and had critics comparing Turner to fantasy luminaries such as Marie Lu and Patrick Rothfuss. The sixth and final book in the series was published this year by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

The book tells the story of a charismatic boy named Gen, aka Eugenides the thief. When Gen is released from prison by a king’s magus, who then coerces him into a quest for a legendary object, the ensuing adventure thrusts him into the center of political machinations, deception and danger.

Turner was repped in this deal by Dave Ryan of Felker Toczek and Jane Putch of Eyebait Management. Duffield, who also wrote Netflix's horror hit The Babysitter as well as YA adaptation Insurgent, is repped by Gersh and Circle of Confusion.