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Animorphs, the massively popular kids book series from the 1990s, is finally headed to the big screen.
Scholastic is partnering with Erik Feig and his Picturestart banner for the first feature film based on the sci-fi series by K.A. Applegate.
The main plot of Animorphs follows five teens — Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias — who have the ability to morph into any animal they touch. They use their powers to fight a secret alien invasion of Earth.
There are more than 35 million copies of the Animorphs books in print, with the original run occurring from 1996 to 2001. While this project will be the first feature film based on the series of 54 books, a Canadian-produced television series ran for two seasons in the late ’90s.
Animorphs will be co-developed and co-produced under the partnership that was announced during the 2019 launch of Picturestart. Under the deal, Scholastic Entertainment and Picturestart will develop live-action projects from Scholastic YA books.
Scholastic Entertainment’s Iole Lucchese and Caitlin Friedman will produce the movie, with Picturestart’s Feig and Lucy Kitada. Overseeing script development will be Scholastic’s Friedman and Picturestart’s Royce Reeves Darby.
Scholastic also has plans to launch a graphic novel adaptation of the Animorphs series via its Scholastic Graphix imprint on Oct. 6, with Eisner-Award nominee Chris Grine having adapted the first novel, The Invasion. Additionally, the company will release a Retro Box Tin in the fall of the first six books in the Animorphs series, with their original ‘90s covers.
“The central themes of Animorphs have resonated strongly with kids for more than two decades, and the time is right for a feature film that takes this captivating sci-fi adventure to another level for audiences today,” said Lucchese. “Picturestart has an incredible track record of success, and Erik and his team are the perfect partners to help bring this exciting new series based on the adventure-packed books to movie screens.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Scholastic to adapt Animorphs, an iconic book series with a wildly unique combination of exciting, witty, outlandish and grounded elements that feel all too relevant for our times,” said Feig. “We know these books have a deservedly deep bench of passionate fans — ourselves included— and we hope to make Katherine Applegate and her co-author, Michael Grant, proud as we bring Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias to life for a new generation.”
Scholastic’s other recent Hollywood projects include Sony’s Goosebumps movies and the upcoming live-action/animation hybrid adaptation of Clifford the Big Red Dog, which is due out this Nov. via Paramount.
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