Spy School movie update

Hi everyone –

Lots of you have written to ask me about the potential Spy School movie.  Most of you have one of three questions, which I am going to answer here for everyone to see:

Q: Is the movie going to stick closely to the book?

A: That is my plan.  I have written the first draft of the screenplay.  So far, it stays close to the book, although since it is a movie and not a book, I have made some changes.  They’re not huge, and some might be quite funny, but they were necessary.  I’m sure that things will change, though.  For one thing, the script is a little too long, which probably means a scene or two will need to be cut – so be aware, there’s a good chance that something you like from the book might not be in the movie.

Q: When will the movie come out?

A: I have no idea.  I don’t even know IF it will ever come out.  The problem with getting a movie made is that it is very expensive.  So a lot of things need to fall into place for the movie to happen.  Here’s the progress so far:

I will certainly have to write more drafts of the movie.  I am waiting to get notes from the studio.  However, Fox is the company that bought the idea — but Fox is currently being purchased by Disney.  This is a massive corporate merger and it is slowing the project down.

The best I can say is that, if this movie did get made, the very earliest it could possibly be in theaters is fall 2020.  And that is an extreme long shot.

Q: When is it going to cast and can I try out for it?

A: I know, technically, that’s two questions, but I am always asked them together.  Anyhow, the simple answer is: I don’t know when it will cast, and the chances are probably very slim that you can try out for it.  Sorry.  I do not control casting.  In fact, I probably won’t have any say over casting at all.

I suppose there is a slight possibility that Fox/Disney might decide to have an open casting call for roles in the movie, in which case maybe anyone who wants to try out can do so, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

If there is an open casting call, I will certainly post about it here.


I know that’s not a ton of news, but it’s all I have.  Stay tuned to this site for more developments.

UPDATE JULY 22, 2019

Really, all this update is saying is that I have no new information.  But I’m adding it because many of you have been writing to me expressing disbelief that I still don’t have any news to report.  Well folks, that’s the way the movie industry works.  I wish I had more news.  Really. No one wants this movie to get made more than I do.  Except maybe my children.

862 thoughts on “Spy School movie update

  1. Elise Pirillis –

    Sadly, I will have no say in casting. My post about how COVId is affecting publishing and the movie business explains why.

  2. Hello! I would really love to play Ben Ripley in the spy school movie. I look identical to him.
    Also I wanted to know if you can give me some advice for my own novel.

    Ben Ripley

  3. Ben Ripley –

    Please see my post about how COVID is affecting the movie (which also explains why I can’t be helpful with casting).

    There is some advice for young novelists on my FAQ page.

  4. stu.
    I love your books and i read all spy school series and they were awsome.
    pleas tell me when the movie of spy school will com. big fan

  5. Hello Mr. Gibbs,
    I really love your Spy School books and the Moon Base Alpha books. If there is an open casting opportunity, do you have to look like the character?

  6. Alexandra –

    I am hoping that the casting will be focused on talent and not looks. (Besides, I don’t really describe my characters in that much detail.)

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