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While he probably won’t be remembered for his lackluster directorial efforts like Freedomland and America’s Sweethearts, Joe Roth is quite adept at producing, and his decades-long career has been heating up over the last few thanks to some major box office earners. Oddly enough, he seems to be most successful when working with fantastical fairy tale stories, which he did with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful and Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman. And now he's ready to do it again.
Deadline reports Universal Pictures have won a hard-fought auction for rights to the young adult novel The School for Good and Evil, and that Roth has teamed up with the studio and Jane Starz Production to get the movie made. The novel was written by first-time author Soman Chainani, and it is (of course) the first in a trilogy. The book hit stores last week on May 14, 2013.
In the book, The School for Good and Evil is a place where ordinary boys and girls are dumped after being kidnapped so they may be trained to become fairy tale characters of both the hero and villain variety. Best friends Sophie – the beautiful one – and Agatha – the homely one – are sent to the Good school and the Evil school, respectively, breaking their friendship apart. Both girls “find their fortunes reversed and are forced to confront the truth about their unexpected destinies.” Did any of you have a teenage life that revolved around your destiny? That’s all people seem to do with young adult novels these days.
Chainani is attached to write the screenplay with Malia Scotch Marno, most famous for writing the non-classics Hook and Madeline.