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.

816 thoughts on “Spy School movie update

  1. Stu-
    Can you put more romance in the eighth book? Thanks!!! I love your books!!!!

  2. Spy School –

    I have to walk a very fine line with romance. Some people want it. Others don’t.

  3. so me and Erica are like the EXACT same person (except for birthdays and all i was born in 2008 and she was (probably) born in 2004) also would we be filming in a studio (or WDC, England, Mexico, Colorado, New Jersey, New York, and where ever spy camp is)?
    also my friend Levi Huddleston will not be able to do it (cause he opted out)!!!!!! also who would be the fashion designer?
    also a suggestion for warren or nefarious would be my ex best friend, Nathan Barcroft, and now just like Erica i now think that friends are both assets and liability’s and also can there be a LOT of romance in ss8? also NEVER EVER let Erica Hale die!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Lucy –

    Again, you have to realize that I have NO CONTROL over where this will shoot, who wil be the designer, etc. None of those decisions will be made until Disney deicdes to film the movie, which has not happened yet and may not happen for months. If ever.

    I am probably not going to have a lot of romance in SS8. These books are more about the action and adventure. I have no intention of having Erica die.

  5. Stu-

    Can you make Ben not so much of a wimp in the eighth book? Maybe he could become a bit more muscular. It would be great if that’s possible 🙂 Thanks!

  6. Meppy Mep –

    Ben is slowly getting to be more physical, but you have to realize, these books only take place weeks apart. He’s not going to get a black belt in karate in between books 7 & 8.

    Plus, part of the humor is that Ben is a normal kid, not a super spy. He isn’t really wimpy. He’s normal.

  7. I need to leave an Amazon review at some point, it’s been a crazy week! Just wanted to let you know an old guy who writes about teens really liked “Spy School” and will probably start accumulating more in the series. Thank you for giving me the joy of new friends and their fun adventures.

  8. Stu-
    I love all of your books, especially your Spy School series, and I was wondering if you could maybe do a crossover. Like SPYDER, or a new group since they are destroyed, to have an evil plan to do with FunJungle and Ben and all his friends and Teddy and his friends could figure it out together. I don’t know something like that maybe. Just wondering, thanks.

  9. Stu-
    I hope the movie comes out. If it does, my friends and I will say every word in the movie. We love your books.

  10. Erica Hale –

    I am not ready to share what SS8 will be about. I will not be sharing information about it for a long time.

  11. I’m thinking about writing a story about what happened to the Sjobergs (i’m not sure if I spelled this right) and when I finish it, maybe i’ll share it with you
    Here are some movie suggestions
    Cyrus-Chevy Chase
    Catherine-Molly Ringwald
    Alexander- Will Ferrell
    The principal-Leonardo DiCaprio

  12. Actor suggestions
    Cyrus-Leonardo DiCaprio or Patrick Stewart
    Catherine-Christina Applegate or Kate Winslet
    Alexander- Ed O’Neill or Robert De Niro

  13. Hey,
    Just wanted to let you know, I am a HUGE fan of your Spy School series. My friends and I have read all eight of the books, and your whole collection of your books, and we were so glad to hear a movie was coming out. We just happened to scroll through the web and find this page, and GOSH were we lucky. I am sooo phyced about the 8th book! And please, don’t make Ben a cheater. He has to pick one or another. I honestly prefer Erica. She needs to open up. I hope she changes in the 8th book. We would also love to be notified when open cast is- if it ever happens- as we are the right age and most of us have some stage knowledge- not that it’s the same, but we are all 12-14. We know there’s no hope we will be in an actual movie, but we like to sometimes get our hopes up. SOOOOO amazing if you get back, have always wanted to talk to you, even electronically. HUGE fan, love your books!

  14. Alaina & Friends –

    Ben is never going to be a cheater or a two-timer. He’s not that type of guy.

    If there is open casting, I will post about it on my blog.

  15. I am so excited for the movie and 8th book. I have read all your books more than twice. I bug my mom and say “preorder it pretty PLEASE.” Also whatever you do with the books or movie I won’t care and I will always support you

  16. Hey , to keep everyone interested I think you should start to film some scenes for a trailer to give us a better picture and to keep our hopes up for the moviegoer example put the scene where Ben is doing his SACSA to make it more dramatic. This is just my opinion thanks!

  17. Hi,
    I’m a HUGE fan and have read all of your books! I was just wondering, what does Zoe look like? And, if you were to make a movie would you do casting calls? Thank you so much for writing these books. I love them!!!

  18. Arvin –

    That’s not exactly how the movie industry works. Filming scenes before a movie has been greenlit is incredibly expensive. That’s why trailers aren;t cut until the movie has already been filmed.

  19. Mya –

    Zoe looks like whoever the best actress to play her is. I do not know if there will be open casting. if there is I will post about it.

  20. Mr. Gibbs,
    I love the idea of a movie and support it as much as you do. I was wondering how far you were on the script write. I upstand that it might not happen in the first place and if it does, it will take a couple of years to make. I love the idea and the effort you have put in to it already.

  21. is there anything we can do to help the movie and speed up the production or will it just take time and lots of effort?

  22. #getripley-
    There is not much we can do. It’s up the studio to assess whether or not to greenlight a movie, and even in that case, producing the whole thing will take loads of time.

  23. Stu,
    Thank you SOOO much for responding to me. It means a great deal to me, and I really appreciate it. Are you planning on making another FunJungle book? And, where did you get your ideas from?
    Mya Gray

  24. OMYGOSH thank you so much for writing back. It was my dream to talk to you! You are such a great writer, and not many writers actually make the effort to write back to their commenters. I love how you give personal feedback on every comment. You are so inspiring. I would also like to know where your ideas originated from. Maybe there is a page on here with that info, or maybe you could make one!

    Thank you so much!

    P.S.- Mya Gray, me and Anna L are all are in the same grade go to the same school

  25. Hello, I am a huge fan of your your work and really love your books! I love action movies and books so please never ever ever take out the action!!! I was also wondering if the movie is going to happen and if so then when. My friends and I are so excited for the 8th Spy School book to come out and really hoping there is a spy school movie! Hope you have a good day!
    – Anna

  26. Mya & Alaina –

    Yes, FJ6 coming out next April. I get ideas all sorts of places: visiting zoos, reading books and magazines, interviewing zookeepers, etc.

  27. Thanks so much for responding to my question it is so cool that you take time to talk to people and answer their questions. You are one of my favorite authors and you write some of the best books I have ever read, and I hope that you continue to write books this good in the future.

  28. What year was Ben born. I’d like to know because my name is Ben and I was born in 2005 and in 7th grade.

  29. your books are my favorite books in the hole World! I have read every book 5 times, and can’t Wait for your movie!

  30. your books are my favorite books in the hole World! I have read every book 5 times, and can’t Wait for your movie! do you think that you will make another series?

  31. Stu
    I love your books and always hope u come out with more I just finished your 7th book and it is amazing. One thing I want in your later books is romance between Ben and Erica they seem perfect, personally I think Zoe is getting in the way. Sry to accent anyone else, but that’s my opinion. When do u think u will give information about SS8? I love your books thanks for the great stories

  32. Benjamin –

    I don’t specify the year that Ben was born — or the years in which the books happen — so that they wil continue to feel current.

  33. parker –

    I don’t have a favorite series to write. If I did, then I would only write that series.

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