Answers to all your questions about the Spy School Movie

Hi everyone –

I have been getting a LOT of mail lately from people wanting to know if there are any updates on the Spy School Movie.  And i realize that a lot of the posts about the movie are quite old — because this process has been going on for a very long time.  So some of the questions I’m including are the same ones I answered before, but maybe this post will become a one-stop point for learning about the movie.

Can you please give me an update on what is going on with the movie?

Sadly, there are none.  I turned my last draft into the studio on January 31, 2020.  As of this date, that was 10 1/2 months ago.  I have not heard a things from Disney since.  Part of this is due to COVID.  Few companies have been hurt as badly by the pandemic as Disney.  But still, this is an insanely long time to wait for an answer.  I know you are frustrated that things are stalled, but trust me, no one is as frustrated by this as I am.  In addition, my agents are frustrated and angry too.  I wish I had a better update for you, but I don’t.

So does this mean the movie isn’t getting made?

I really don’t know.  I suppose there is still a chance that Disney might make it.  And if they say no, then I can take it to another studio to see if they will make it.  But for right now, all I can do is wait to see what Disney has to say.

Is the movie going to stick closely to the book?

That is my plan.  I have written three drafts 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.

Will there be sequels based on the other books?

Ideally, but that depends on how the first movie does.  There is a slight chance that, if Disney loves the script, they will decide to move ahead with a sequel before the first movie comes out, but I wouldn’t count on that.

Is the movie going to be live action or animated?

Live action.

Are you going to do just one book for each movie, or combined books into one movie?

The idea is to do one book per movie.

If the movie does get made, when is the absolute earliest that the movie come out?

If the movie was given the go-ahead tomorrow, it probably couldn’t start shooting for several months, and then that would take a few months, and then it would have to be edited and scored and such so… the very earliest would probably be 18 months from now — and that’s a best case scenario.  Don’t expect anything until 2022, if not later.

Is it going to be released in theaters — or could it show up on Disney Plus?

Personally, I would love for it to be released theatrically — so that’s what we are shooting for.  But the fact is, Disney needs a lot of content for Disney Plus, so that remains an option.  (Also, if it was made for Disney Plus, there is a chance that sequels could be started earlier.)

Are the characters going to look the same as I imagine them?

Probably not.  Because I have no control over how you imagine the characters.  You may have noticed that I don’t describe the characters in much detail in my books.  I leave a lot to your imagination.  Personally, I hope that the casting director selects the best possible actors for the roles and doesn’t get hung up on looks.  (You might have noticed that I never describe the ethnicity of many characters, including Ben, so personally, I’m open to most of them being any ethnicity.)  Anyhow, the chance of an actor or actress looking exactly like the way you imagine the character is virtually nonexistent.  So don’t get upset if the actors don’t look exactly as you’d hoped.

But you’re going to release a graphic novel in 2022.  After that, won’t we know what the characters look like?

No.  You will know that Anjan, the artist of the graphic novel, thinks the characters look like.  But that doesn’t mean that is what the characters have to look like.

If the movie does film, can I be in it?  I’m really good at acting.  Maybe you could tell the casting director about me?

Honestly, I won’t have any say in casting at all.  I know that might sound wrong to you, 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.

Could you write to me personally and let me know if there is open casting?

Er…No.  I get asked this a lot and, 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.

All right.  That’s the info I have right now.  Again, I really, really wish I had more of an update.  Hopefully, I will have more news soon.

In the mean time, stay safe, have a happy holiday, and keep on reading.

778 thoughts on “Answers to all your questions about the Spy School Movie

  1. It’s kinda scary to think that at the rate of one book per year (That’s at best) and if that the series will expand to probably end up having 5 or 6 more books the readers that are 12 right now will then be like 17 or 18 when the series concludes

  2. Who Would Win
    Trixie vs Summer
    Kevin vs Marge
    Nora Taco vs Chief Honekker
    Cathrine vs Erica
    Erica vs Molly O’ Malley
    Cathrine vs Molly O’ Malley

  3. Last year, I left a comment. I got responded to, saying the film would be out in Fall 2020. I know there are the complications with COVID19, but I would like to know when the film is probably going to be released. Many thanks.

  4. (Anonymous 749)

    Did you actually read this post? I don’t know if the movie is even going to get made — or when it would get made! So I can’t possibly know when it might get released.

  5. FordMustang –

    I have considered turning everything I have ever written into a movie. The trick is getting a movie studio to sonsider it.

  6. Violet –

    Which new book do you mean? I have THREE books coming out this year.

    All future release dates can be found in the right hand column of every single page of this website.

  7. Look people: IF YOUR QUESTION INVOLVES ANYTHING RELATED TO EVENTS IN THE FUTURE, IT’S PROBABLY ON THE UPPER RIGHT SIDE OR CLASSIFIED

  8. Stu-
    how do you mention things like popular movies in your books?
    I don’t know if that’s a copyright thing or not, but just wondering
    if you had to get license for those things or you can just use them.

  9. Hey Stu, I just finished SSR and loved it, and I’m really excited for SS9. I have a few questions about the series I’d like to ask. What influenced your decision to alter Ben and Zoe’s friendship/possible relationship? It had been looking like Zoey and Ben might get together so I’m curious what sparked the plot point of the two sort of spoil their friendship. If you could answer this, should we expect a title reveal for the next Spy School book soon? The cover for SSR was unveiled in January last year so it seems like we may see SS9’s soon. I have one last question, have you thought of doing a Spy School novel that doesn’t involve a mission? It would be very interesting to have a book solely focused on life at the CIA Academy for Ben and his friends, and a plot about school life would be nice a change of pace since Ben probably isn’t always battling comically evil organizations. Keep up the great work! I can’t wait for the next book, Fall can’t come soon enough!

  10. BookWorm27 –

    You do not need a license to mention movies or other books or anything else like that. You can’t steal someone’s ideas… but you are free to discuss what other people have done.

  11. Mr. Gibbs,

    Do you or have you ever intentionally put a more mature joke in your novels? I have seen a few that gave me a light chuckle, and I realized some younger audiences might not get why I was laughing. Are these intended?

  12. Blake –

    I changed things up with Ben and Zoe because I felt it would be an interesting shift in the narrative. Part of the fun of doing a series is shaking things up. If everything stays the same, it gets old.

    I don’t know when I am going to release the title of the next SS book.

    I think that doing a SS book without a mission would defeat the whole point of the series. It is, after all, called ‘Spy School.’ Not ‘School.’

  13. Capybara –

    If you have come across something that you thought was funny in my novels that seems mature… then yes, I put it in there on purpose.

  14. Capybara-

    Lol I noticed that too. There was was in SSGS that I didn’t notice for a while

  15. There! I’ve commented in every post now! How exciting! And I have the first comment for this post, if you go all the way back you’ll see me. So that’s cool too!

  16. Alexander Hale –

    From my end, this website has a page that allows me to see all comments at once.

  17. Alexander Hale –

    You have to put in your email so that I know who is posting. Sometimes, I have had people try to post really inappropriate stuff and try to fool me by changing their name, but when the email address stays the same, i can continue blocking them.

  18. I mean I said something controversial but used the same email address with a different name just because I got worried that there’d be a bunch of backlash. It never really occurred to me that people would try to post inappropriate stuff

  19. Yes, there are always people who try to mess around with websites. Sadly, it would be quite tragic if any sort of inappropriate content was posted here because a lot of you are somewhat young and innocent.
    I have used two other names when I first came to this website, but my email address has stayed the same. I use this as my permanent name now because I come here regularly (and I like it too).

  20. cool! Also, I’ve been reading the Last Musketeer, Double Cross (it’s really good!) and when I was reading the part where they were walking in the underground tunnels with all the skulls and human bones on the wall, it occured to me that Ben, Erica, Mike, Zoe, and Catherine Hale were walking in tunnels/catacombs under Paris with skulls and bones in them. Do you think the spy school gang walked in the very same place that the Musketeers and Catherine were walking?

  21. Laura-

    I guess it could be possible but Stu said he doesn’t plan to do any crossovers so I doubt it

  22. Mr. Gibbs,

    Do you check or have you checked the Spy School Fandom? If not, what about the Funjungle, MBA, etc.?
    Honestly, the SS Fandom is quite an experience. The information is well organized, and I can navigate without hardships. The comment sections, however, intrigue me. Especially on Ben’s relationship dynamics. I found the conversations following SSR hilarious. I could claim about 90% of your fanbase on Fandom has decided any possibility of romance between Zoe and Ben has been squashed. Even so, one fan pointed out that you would not destroy a relationship you took 7 novels building, yet SSR was so on-point about the changes with Ben and Zoe’s friendship. My anticipation for SS9 is beyond comprehensible. I have reached a point where I am reviewing each SS novel for a possible hint for the plot of SS9. Anyways, I cannot wait for the SS9 cover/plot reveal! Thank you for all the wonderful novels you write!

  23. Mr. Gibbs-
    In any upcoming SS books/would you consider for future books, are you actually going to have Ben in school? The last few books he has been rogue from the CIA/other law enforcement, and I think it would be really cool to see him in classes, or to have more scenes like the entrance exam (why can’t I remember the name?!?) where he had to do class assignments/school excerise? Like in some of your books it mentions certain classes like Rudimentray Airdrops or a fighting simulator, and I personaly think it would be very cool to see how they taught certain classes like that. Thank you!

  24. Capybara is a Happybara-
    That’s probably true that 90% of people said they think Zen is dead, but I still have faith! Mr. Gibbs has said many times (epsically about SS) that he loves changing the plot, so who knows?! I am still on Team Zen, though not opposed to Berica.

  25. Hey Stu Crew!
    Rank these SS charcters in order from favorite to least favorite (mine is the order they are listed in.)

    1. Zoe
    2. Catherine
    3. Erica
    4. Mike
    5. Ashley
    6. Ben
    7. Alexander
    8. Murray
    9. Dane

    (I still love them all……. I just love some a tiny bit more than others 😉

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