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.

712 thoughts on “Spy School movie update

  1. Stu-
    I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate that you replied and that as soon as school starts I’m gonna tell all of my friends that I talked to my favorite author! Also, I was wondering, who is your favorite author or an author whose books you might recommend? (Sorry, I know this is off topic.

  2. David Gerber –

    I do not have a favorite series of my own. If I liked writing one more than the others, then I would only write that series.

  3. Stu-
    Agreed he is an amazing author (although you are better in my opinion) sadly I have only read his book framed I have so many library books sitting around my house right now I haven’t gotten a chance to look into him, but now that I have your recommendation I totally will! Thanks again!

  4. What will they probably do with the kid that plays Murray to make him look fat
    will they probably cast a fat kid or stuff pillows or something under the kid that plays Murray’s shirt to make him look fat

  5. Hey. I’ve been reading your spy school books for awhile now. I was wondering if there’s gonna be an 8th one. But also i wanted to say that i love your writing. I had my boyfriend read some of your books and it inspired him to start writing again. (He was in a block for sometime) Idk how but after he read some of your books he got inspiration and his creative thought back. Maybe that doesn’t mean anything but to me and him it does. He wants to thank you and so do I. You are an amazimg author and I’m honored to have read your amazing books. (Btw my uncle is a small author. Travis Simmons)

  6. Stu,

    If a movie does come out will it be based off of one specific book from ss or all of then combined??

  7. Tyler –

    Remember, I am the writer, not the special effects guy or the makeup guy or the director or anything like that. So I have no idea how they are going to do anything with Murray or anything else in the film.

  8. Sarah –

    Sure there could be a FunJungle movie. All I need is a major studio to agree to spend a couple million dollars to make it.

  9. Stu, I just want to say that I REALLY like your books. Also, do you have a favorite football team? I am a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan.

    Thanks, Elliot

  10. Elliot –

    I do have a favorite football team. My hometown team, from the city where I was born. Go Eagles!

  11. Hi I just wanted to clarify something that I liked in sss at the top of page 181 Erica says “If Jessica doesn’t like you now, why would she like you once she REALIZES that I’m interested in you ” is that a play on the fact that she likes him because she could have said once she THINKS I’m interested in you

  12. (Reply to Zoe is better)
    I’m a non social person
    And lol I can say……
    Ppl do not rlly like me

  13. Stu-
    I can’t decide the title and plot of my next Spy School fan fiction book:
    *Spy School Ninja School (Ben & his friends infiltrate a Top Secret Japanese school for ninjas)
    *Spy School Britain (Ben, Zoe, and Mike become foreign exchange students at the MI6’s training facility)
    *Spy Scuba School (Woodchuck Wallace sends Ben, Zoe, Mike, and Erica to an underwater training facility)
    *Spy School vs Terrorism (SPYDER’s terrorism gets worse than before…and they become public)
    *Spy School: Operation Texan Tiger (Ben, Zoe, Mike and Erica get sent on a mission to FunJungle)

  14. JL22 –

    Those all sound like fun. But I never write the title until after I write the book. So write whatever story you want to write first and then pick the title.

  15. So I am a kid who really enjoys acting and has been in some mini-movies. I am really into the Spy School series rn, and I just finished SS British Invasion. I really want to play Ben Ripley in the Spy School movie. Can you email me the location of filming and the auditions when you find out?


  16. Fletcher –

    I cannot email every single kid who asks to be apprised of auditions. What I will do is post information on my blog so that anyone who is interested can get the info there.

  17. In the opening letter of SSGS, it mentions a CIA raid on a Boy Scout Jamboree. The book takes place in March but the Jamboree didn’t happen until July.
    Also, the book says that Professor Simon said that Ben had “the fighting skills of a box turtle” however 4 box turtles became the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

  18. Dear Mr.Gibbs
    Thank you for your books,l bought spy school for granddaughter, but l like it more!!!, Have all gone through 6 of the books in two weeks,l am from Austin,tx and will be at the book fair , can’t wait to meet you, remember it’s still hot in oct sometimes!

  19. Hopefully the movie works out because I really want to see this movie happen. Spy School has got to be one of the best book series’s that I’ve ever read. All of your books are amazing and so creative. Where do you get your inspiration for all of your books?

  20. Tyler –

    Thank you for pointing out the timing of the Jamboree.

    That said, the TMNT were not technically box turtles. They were mutant box turtles. Which is different.

  21. Tyler –

    I don’t know that Scarface references will be that appreciated. I actually try to keep the weapons to a minimum, especially with my heroes.

  22. I sooo want to be cast as Zoe!!! I’m the right age and everything, I’m also an actress from many shows and usually get that kind of role, I would be a perfect Zoe, is it okay for Zoe to have braces and a golden-brown ponytail?, I know none of you guys control casting but I SO WANT TO BE ZOE

  23. I’ve heard that the first movie takes the longest to get off the ground, but after that, it’s easier to get things done. Hopefully this is the case, because I CAN NOT WAIT FOR A SPY CAMP MOVIE!!!!!

  24. Stu-
    I really want MBA to continue…what do I have to do to get you to write more?
    Or, as an alternative, you could write a Moon Base Beta series (though I bet that would never happen).

  25. JL22 –

    Sadly, the only way for this series to move forward is for me to have a sudden inspiration that makes me see how to make it work again. But since i have three other series moving forward, I am spending my time thinking about those.

  26. Tyler –

    Full Metal Jacket is probably even less appropriate for my target audience. (And more obscure.)

    The less attention I can draw to guns in the story, the better.

  27. Derrick –

    There is no blog post about the auditions because there is no information about auditions yet. They have to agree to make the movie first. If there are open auditions, then there will be a blog post.

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