It’s morphing time. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Scholastic is teaming up with Picturestart to produce a film adaptation of Animorphs — i.e. the books that made you think you could become your own dog. What, just me?
The news outlet reports that the popular series, written by Katherine Applegate and her husband Michael Grant under the shared name K.A. Applegate, is getting its own movie. This has been a long time coming, as there have been many attempts to get a new take on the books (there were rumours of an adaptation from Universal back in 2015, but nothing came of them). In a statement, Scholastic Entertainment’s Iole Lucchese said the company is excited to finally bring the books to the big screen.
“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,” Lucchese said.
Animorphs is an all-ages book series that ran from 1996 to 2001. It’s about five teens who are given the ability to transform into any animal they touch. They work together as part of a secret rebellion against the Yeerks, a race of parasitic aliens that are slowly taking over Earth. It might sound silly — and, in some ways, it is — but Animorphs is surprisingly intense. The books dive into morality, war, dehumanization, relationships, and the sacrifices we make during times of crisis. It’s a series that grew with its audience, and folks who stayed through to the final chapters know just how brutal the series became by the end of it.
Scholastic has also produced adaptations of Goosebumps and the upcoming Clifford and the Big Red Dog. Those projects don’t inspire too much confidence that Animorphs will accurately handle the darker sides of its subject material, but all we can do is hope. There are also plans to launch a series of graphic novel adaptations of the book series, starting with Chris Gine’s take on The Invasion on October 6. Scholastic also revealed that it will be releasing a “Retro Box Tin” this fall featuring the first six books of the series with their original covers.