Lionsgate has purchased the rights to create multiple live-action adaptations of Mary Pope Osborne’s long-running series, The Magic Tree House. As prolific as it is beloved, the series boasts 54 titles that have sold a total of 130 million copies worldwide in 35 different languages.
One of the most ubiquitous children’s series, The Magic Tree House books follow Jack and Annie, siblings who discover magic-filled books in a treehouse that transports them through time and space. This first film will be based off of Christmas in Camelot, the 29th book in the series, which finds the brother and sister traveling to the mythical land on a mysterious quest for Merlin the Magician.
For its part, Lionsgate’s approach generally produces fun, faithful interpretations. They’re no strangers to adapting children’s books for the screen, being the production company behind The Hunger Games (huzzah!) and Divergent (okay!) franchises. Moreover, they’ve developed a reputation for allowing authors to collaborate on the scripts and production in ways that hadn’t been done before, and this time around is no different: Osborne is set to write the script and executive produce with her husband.
"Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House series has impacted the way children learn to read in an extraordinary way, and she has sparked a lifelong love of reading in millions of children over the course of nearly 25 years," Barbara Marcus, President of Random House Children's Books, said in a statement. "We are so pleased to see that Mary's magical storytelling will continue on in a new form, opening up worlds of adventure to new generations of readers."
What do you think of these classic books going to the big screen, and which book in the series do you want to see next? Should they double-down by making Pirates Past Noon into a dramatic, Mockingjay-esque two-parter? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image: Pirates Past Noon