Attention humans! The Animorphs are returning to Earth, and this time, they’ll be appearing on the big screen.
Animorphs was originally a series of children’s science fiction/fantasy novels. The first book, The Invasion, was published in June 1996, and the main series ran for 54 books, concluding in May 2001.
While the cover credits K. A. Applegate, both Katherine Applegate and her husband, Michael Grant, were responsible for writing the story of the series. Both authors have been open about the fact that various ghostwriters were responsible for writing the manuscripts of books 25 through 52 based on outlines prepared by Applegate and Grant.
The series follows a group of high school students who become entangled in an intergalactic war between shape-shifting Andalites and parasitic brain slugs called Yeerks. Fortunately, the teens are given a weapon to allow them a chance to defend their planet: the ability to morph into any animal they can touch. The catch? If they remain in-morph past the two-hour limit, they’ll be trapped in that form indefinitely (barring the intervention of an alien species sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from a higher power, of course).
The books were notable for their interesting structure – each book was presented from the first-person perspective of a different character from a rotating roster – and their mature thematic content.
This isn’t the first time Animorphs has been adapted to the screen. Twenty-six episodes of a live-action television adaption of the series aired from 1998 through 2000 on Nickelodeon in the United States, and on YTV and Global in Canada.
Now, the Animorphs are enjoying something of a renaissance: in addition to the movie adaption, the series will enjoy a comic book adaption later this year, and an uncut version of the original series (with different narrators cast for each character) is currently being released through Audible.
The movie is a result of the partnership between Scholastic and Picturestart, a company that launched in 2019 and had previously announced an agreement to develop projects based on Scholastic’s YA oeuvre.
While no additional details have been released about the Animorphs movie, Grant and Applegate confirmed that they would be involved on Twitter.
Obviously, we are thrilled by this news. @michaelgrantbks and I couldn’t be happier that @Scholastic and the amazing Erik Feig at @Picturestart are coming together to bring #ANIMORPHS to life on the big screen! https://t.co/g8KQEXxedl
— Katherine Applegate (@kaaauthor) June 18, 2020
#ANIMORPHSMOVIE. 1) Yes K and I will be involved. 2) You now know 90% of what we know. 3) This has always been about the fans for @kaaauthor and me. #ANIMORPHS made us, changed our lives, too. 4) And I have to go work.
Are blasé Katherine and cranky Michael happy? Damn right!
— Michael Grant (@MichaelGrantBks) June 18, 2020