Scholastic Entertainment, the media division of Scholastic, is joining forces with Picturestart to transform book series, Animorphs, into a feature film.
The live-action production will bring Scholastic’s 54-book series by K.A. Applegate (Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant) to a new generation. The Animorphs series debuted in the 1990s and has more than 35 million copies in print to date.
The film adaptation will be produced and developed jointly by Iole Lucchese, president and chief strategy officer and Caitlin Friedman, senior vice president and general manager, Scholastic Entertainment and Erik Feig, founder and chief executive officer and Lucy Kitada, executive vice president, production. Picturestart. Friedman with Royce Reeves Darby, creative executive, PictureStart will supervise script development
The collaboration between Scholastic Entertainment and Picturestart is focused on leveraging discovery-of-voice-themed I.P. in the Young Adult space, across film, T.V., digital, and publishing platforms.
“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,” says 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.”
In addition to the film, Scholastic will launch a graphic novel adaptation of the Animorphs series via its Scholastic Graphix imprint on Oct. 6. Eisner-Award-nominated artist Chris Gine (“Time Twisters.” “Chickenhare”) has adapted the first Animorphs novel, The Invasion.
“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,” says Feig. “These books have passionate fans—ourselves included—and we hope to make Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant proud as we bring Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel and Tobias to life for a new generation.”
Scholastic will also introduce a Retro Box Tin this fall, featuring the first six books in the Animorphs series, all in their original ’90s covers. The titles in the collectible tin will include The Invasion, The Visitor, The Encounter, The Message, The Predator, and The Capture.
Animorphs was published by Scholastic from 1996 to 2001 and then partly re-issued between 2011 and 2012 with lenticular versions of the memorable covers featuring the main characters gradually morphing into animals or insects.
For Scholastic, the deal continues the publishers push to get classic book series into new mediums. Earlier this year, the publisher announced it was working with Sony Pictures to develop a live-action series inspired by the Goosebumps series.