Scholastic Entertainment is joining forces with Brownstone Productions, Marc Platt Productions and Universal Pictures to develop a feature-length, live-action hybrid film that will bring Scholastic’s “The Magic School Bus” to the big screen for the first time in the 26-year history of the brand.
Elizabeth Banks is set to portray the film’s lead, Ms. Frizzle. Banks will also serve as a producer on the film along with Max Handelman as part of Brownstone Productions. Iole Lucchese, president and chief strategy officer, Scholastic Entertainment and Caitlin Friedman, senior vice president and general manager, Scholastic Entertainment, and Marc Platt and Adam Siegel for Marc Platt Productions will also serve as producers on the film. Alison Small will serve as executive producer for Brownstone Productions, as well.
The upcoming “The Magic School Bus” film is based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by author Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen. To date the series has seen more than 80 million books in print worldwide.
The books were first adapted into an animated TV series, featuring Lily Tomlin in the starring role as Ms. Frizzle, on PBS in 1994. The show aired for 18 consecutive years in the U.S. and has been broadcast in more than 100 countries around the world, making it the longest-running kids science series in history.
An animated sequel to the original series, “The Magic School Bus Rides Again,” featuring Kate McKinnon as Ms. Frizzle’s sister, Fiona, debuted on Netflix in 2017.
“We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day,” says Lucchese. “We’re also extremely excited to be working with such top-tier partners as Elizabeth Banks, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions, Universal Pictures and all of the amazing talent assembled for this noteworthy feature film.”