Having struck box office gold with Alice In Wonderland and this year’s Oz The Great And Powerful, Joe Roth and his production company have naturally been on the hunt for more fantasy fodder to sprinkle with filmic fairy dust. Last week, he partnered with Jane Startz Production to buy up the rights to Soman Chainani’s upcoming trilogy The School For Good And Evil, and Universal has won the bidding battle to produce the first film.
Chainani’s trilogy – well, it will be once all three novels are out, but the first only just arrived on US bookshelves and hits here on June 6 – is about ordinary boys and girls kidnapped from their homes and carted off to the titular learning establishment, a split personality teaching system where they are ether taught to be heroes or villains.
Our heroine for this Harry Potter-esque tale is Sophie, a beautiful girl who winds up in the Evil side while her friend Agatha is taken to the Good side. They see their fortunes reversed and must face the truth about their destinies.
Chainani has made a deal to craft the script with Hook co-writer Malia Scotch Marmo, and Universal will be hoping for a new franchise from this one. As seems usual for bigger books these days, the novel as a trailer, which you can see below.