How COVID is affecting the release of Spy School Revolution and the Spy School movie

Hi everyone –

At this time, there are two questions I have been getting over and over and over again.  So I figured I would post to answer those questions before anyone else asks them.

Can you please release Spy School Revolution early so that I have something new to read during the pandemic?

The simple answer is NO.

Here is the more complicated answer: You have to realize that releasing a book is not easy.  After I write it, there are still many steps.  The book has to be designed, then printed, then shipped to stores.  All of that takes time, and each one of those steps has been adversely affected by the virus.

Plus… to release a book, it helps to have bookstores be open.  Thousands are not right now.

Now, you might be arguing that you could order the books on line, so you don’t need the stores to be open — but it still helps to have stores open, so that people who don’t know about the book can see it and decide to buy it.

Due to these issues, many author friends of mine are having their book releases pushed back, rather than moved forward.  Hopefully, the release of SSR is far enough away that this won’t happen.

Also, if you are still ordering books on Amazon… stop it.  You are hurting the publishing business!  Instead, order your books through either your local independent bookstore (if they are still open), bookshop.org or Barnes & Noble.

Is the Spy School movie going to film after all this is over?

I have no idea.

Hollywood is completely shut down.  I haven’t heard from the executives on the project in weeks.  Disney, which now owns the rights, is having severe financial problems because all its theme parks are shut down.  No one can film anything because there is no way to do that while being socially-distanced.

At some point, Hollywood will need to start making movies again, but no one knows when that will be.  Until that happens, I will have no further updates on the movie.

One more thing:

Not to sound like a jerk here, but please please please stop asking me if I can cast you in the movie.  I know you are all shocked that I won’t have any sway over casting, but here’s the best explanation I can give:

Actors are hired by casting directors.  That is the casting director’s job, and they train for years to do it.  So, if I were to call a casting director and say, “Hey, you should consider this kid for the movie,” that would be like the casting director coming up to me and saying, “Hey, would you mind if I wrote a chapter of your book for you?”  The casting director has their job.  I have mine.  It is not cool for me to try to tell them how to do their job.

Thus, I have no idea if there will be an open casting call or when that would even happen.  My bet is, it is unlikely.  If there is an open casting call, I will post about it on this blog.  So please do not ask me if I can contact you directly at your email to let you know about this.

Again, not to sound like a jerk, but I have a lot to do.  Emailing every one of the thousands of kids (and a lot of parents) who has asked me to contact them directly would take me weeks.  I do not have time to do that.  I have books to write.

That is all for now.  Stay safe.

197 thoughts on “How COVID is affecting the release of Spy School Revolution and the Spy School movie

  1. catgirl –

    I love spy movies — and I always have. Spy movies were one of the biggest inspirations for Spy School.

  2. I love all of your books and please don’t ever stop the spy school or fun jungle series

  3. Stu
    I was looking thourgh the comments and I saw something about a spy school movie peitition?

  4. hoping to know!

    I think, at some point, there was a discussion amongst fans of sending a petition to Disney to make the movie. But I really don’t think that would work — so it never really got off the ground.

  5. I have been a fan before Panda-monium came out! I am wondering, who is the director of the movie or is that not decided yet?

  6. The Croatian –

    I would love if Disney would use this time to attach a director. But they have not done that.

  7. christian –

    I have no idea if the movie will be theatrically released or on Disney Plus.

    An my thoughts on who Ben ends up with are classified.

  8. Anonymous –

    I think some of the James Bond movies are good, some are meh, and a few are terrible.

  9. Stu-

    I notice that in a lot of the books he mentions that espionage isn’t like the movies– Except that in all of them there’s a very movie-like plot.
    Just thought it was funny.

  10. stu
    when I was reading your new FJ book I was thinking about why u have made the sheriff mean. so then I started to think about how Lincoln stone was sexist and racist . is it so people hate him more?

  11. stu
    my parents say I am a bookworm. I don’t like harry potter that much . do u have any suggestions?

  12. catgirl –

    I made Lincoln Stone sexist and racist because, sadly, there are plenty of people like that in the world and I wanted to show that.

  13. I’ve been wondering this for a while. How come, in FunJungle series. Doc’s daughter is first named Susie, then Lily?

  14. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the Spy School series! They are the best books in the whole entire world and whenever I think about them I squeal with delight! I am counting down the days until Spy School Revolution comes out and can’t wait until the movie is official:)
    Please never stop writing them and know that the second they come out I will devour them!

  15. Hi I am a HUGE fan of yours but in all your books there really is no one they isn’t straight and it’s kind of bumming me out a lot because 1 It’s really hard for the gay community 2 Why not? Are you ever going to add one?!

  16. Nola –

    There has been one character who has been revealed to be gay in my books so far another is coming in the next year, but…

    There are dozens for whom I haven’t mentioned any sexual preference at all. This is because I don’t think it sounds right to label someone by their sexual identity if it doesn’t add to the story. (You may have noticed that I don’t tend to describe my characters much at all. So I’m not going to say, ‘Agent Traxler, who was gay, came into the room.’) I have made Teddy in FunJungle and Ben in SS straight because their crushes are part of the storylines. I write middle grade, though, which is about kids who are 12 or 13, which means that love interests don’t really drive the stories. If I come up a plot where it makes sense to have a gay character, then I have done it (and will continue to do it). Thus, some characters might revealed to be gay, but for some, you honestly might never know what their orientation is.

  17. Would the movie be for like kids younger than 10? I read SS to my lill sibs and they love it but I don’t know if my parents would let them watch the movie if it has like, really shooting.
    Your books are amazing. Please don’t stop writing.

  18. Erica Hale –

    In theory, the movie is for people the same age as the readers of the books.

    So there won’t be many guns in it.

  19. Ben Ripley –

    If you read this post, you should realize that I have no idea when the movie will come out. If I don’t know if they are even going to film the movie, how could I possibly know when the movie would come out?

    As for who I ship, that is classified.

  20. Stu-
    Hi, I was wondering if there are tricks in the character names I missed (like how Dane Brammage = Brane Dammage and Dash Gibson is Dash, your son aka Gibb’s son)
    Thanks,
    Audrey

  21. Audrey –

    I can’t give away all the tricks in the character names, because then it takes the fun out of finding them.

  22. Erica –

    If you preorder the exlcusive edition of SSR on Barnes & Noble, then it is different from the normal book. Otherwise, the version you preorder is the exct same.

  23. Erica –

    The exclusive edition has bonus content. Please see my post about the exclusive edition for more details.

  24. Stu
    You are my favorite author I would love it if you did a fan zoom call would that be possible also what book will ben Finnaly figure out his feeling for Zoe and Erica it is getting painfull

  25. Murrey –

    I will be doing some fan virtual events for the launch of SSR.

    The answer to your other question is classified.

  26. If COVID-19 ended right now, and Hollywood opened tomorrow, then would you have any idea as to when the movie would come out, or is the release completely relying on COVID-19?

  27. EricaH –

    If Covid ended tomorrow (which would be lovely) Hollywood would not be able to start shooting right away. The film business will probably prioritize movies with guaranteed audiences (like Marvel movies) to go into production first and then have to figure out when and how to make other movies later. So I really don’t have the slightest idea when the movie might get made — or come out.

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