The studios are at it again. They’ve gone shopping and here are a couple of projects aimed at the younger audiences that we can expect to see on screen in our future.
First up is Universal Pictures’ latest auction win from The Spiderwick Chronicles author Holly Black. The studio won the screen rights to The Cruel Prince, her new fantasy novel, which will be published in January by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Michael De Luca will produced through his Michael De Luca Productions banner.
The Cruel Prince is the first novel to a new series Black is calling Folk of the Air. Prince follows a human girl abducted into a world of violent, dangerous faeries, and must scheme to ensure her escape and survival. The story blends bits of Alice in Wonderland and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Black has sold over 12 million books worldwide. In 2008, Paramount turned one of her most famous, The Spiderwick Chronicles, into a film which grossed $162 million globally. Perhaps Universal may have a winning beginning to a new franchise.
In a more colorful note, Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to adapt Drew Daywalt’s best-selling children’s book The Day the Crayons Quit. The live-action/animation hybrid film will be produced by Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen from 21 Laps. Daywalt and illustrator Oliver Jeffers will executive produce.
The book follows the story of a box of crayons who decide they have had enough. Their owner, little Duncan, finds his crayon box full of letters from the crayons, all saying the same thing, “We’ve had enough! We quit!” They are tired of how they are used, their individual colors dictating a very limited day-to-day existence for each crayon.
This book also has the potential for a franchise. The sequel, The Day The Crayons Came Home, has sold more than 3 million copies and was on the New York Times bestseller lists for more than 200 weeks.
Looks like there could be some fun film franchises to look forward to in the next couple years.