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.

60 thoughts on “Spy School movie update

  1. Here are some suggestions for actors in the movie and who they should play
    Chevy Chase as Cyrus
    Molly Ringwald as Catherine
    Will Ferrell as Alexander

  2. If I was you, I would ask for an open casting call. You’re the author after all. Also, there are some really talented kids and adults out there that would love to be in the movie, but don’t have representation.

  3. I personally think the ALL of the books should have gotten a Newbery honor medal and that all of them should be turned into movies. Also, will the movie be all of the books that you have written so far combined?

  4. Conor –

    There is absolutely no way I can share the screenplay. The screenplay is technically the property of Fox, not me. I can’t do whatever i want with it. And it’s only a first draft anyhow. I’m not going to share first drafts of anything i do with the public.

  5. Greg-

    If it takes you less than three-five years to read two books, I’d say you have nothing to worry about.

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