The Magic Tree House Book Series Is Getting The Big Screen Treatment
At long last, the beloved children’s book series Magic Tree House will be a string of movies. Author Mary Pope Osborne has sold Lionsgate the rights to her books, first written in 1992, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The series follows the exploits of siblings Jack and Annie, who discover a treehouse filled with books that can transport them through space and time. Odds are these were always on your list when you went to the coveted Scholastic book fairs in elementary school.
Osborne and her husband Will are both going to be heavily involved with the project, with Osborne acting as an executive producer and Will as co-screenwriter. While there are 54 books in the series, the film will focus on the 29th in the series, Christmas in Camelot, which was published in 2001. It explores what happens after Jack and Annie return to their tree time machine after they’ve outgrown it. (How you can outgrow something like that is beyond me, but whatever.)
Lionsgate has a fantastic track record of adapting kids’ book series for the big screen, including The Hunger Games and Divergent. “We’re always looking for magical worlds to expand into potential motion picture franchises, and this is an iconic property that is beloved and recognizable around the world,” said Erik Feig, the Lionsgate motion picture group co-president, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to bring the genius of Mary Pope Osborne’s iconic stories to the screen for their tens of millions of fans and to introduce a whole new audience to their magic.”
This isn’t exactly the first time the series reached the big screen, however. The 2011 film Magic Tree House screened in Japan, and was based on Osborne’s work. According to IMDb, the Japanese version of Osborne’s books included anime-styled illustrations.
No word on a release date for the first film, or even casting rumors, but we’ll be anxiously awaiting more info. Until then, we’ll just go back and binge-read the series.