- Paul Fieg will direct “The School for Good and Evil” based on screenplay by David Magee, Laura Solon.
Soman Chainani’s fantasy fairytale series, “The School for Good and Evil,” is to be adapted for a film for Netflix. It will be directed by Paul Feig. The film will be based on a screenplay by David Magee of “Life of Pi,” fame and Laura Solon, who wrote “Let It Snow,” for Netflix. Feig has previously directed comedies like “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” and “Spy.”
The movie announcement comes on the heels of the release of the final book of the series — “The School of Good and Evil: One True King,” — by HarperCollins on June 2. The first book was published in 2013.
The series follows the adventures of best friends Sophie and Agatha, who find themselves taken from their small village and put him the School for Good and Evil, which is described as “an enchanted institution where children are trained to become fairytale heroes or villains.”
The series is broken into two parts. The first trilogy — “The School Years” — follows the adventures of the two girls in the magical school. The second one, “The Camelot Years,” is the story of Agatha and Price Tedros, as they become the Queen and King of the legendary kingdom Camelot. Sophie, on the other hand, transforms into the evil one.
“The School for Good and Evil” is geared at middle-grade readers (ages nine and up).
Chainani told the Harvard magazine that he considers his new book “a modern-day fairy tale and a survival guide for children” — boys as well as girls. “I think there is a bit of an urban legend that boys won’t read books that have female protagonists,” he told the magazine. “As they did with the original Grimm fairy tales, boys don’t respond to gender in a story—but simply to the circumstances that befall protagonists.”
According to Chainani’s website, the debut series has sold more than 2.5 million copies. It has been translated into 30 languages across six continents. Each of the five books in the series have debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list.
“To have one of your favorite directors adapt your book into a film for Netflix is an honor and a dream. Paul Feig is a brilliant filmmaker and a master of tone — a perfect fit for the twists and turns of ‘The School for Good and Evil.’ I have no doubt that he will make a true fairy tale classic,” Chainani said in a statement.
The New York City-based Chainani is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s MFA Film Program. He began his career as a screenwriter and director. He has been nominated for the Waterstone Prize for Children’s Literature, been named to the Out100, and also received the $100,000 Shasha Grant and the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, both for debut writers.