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.

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

  1. Ruben G –

    I am guessing that you read a very outdated article on line.

    That was probably 3-4 years old.

  2. Thank you! So, at this point in time, has any studio accepted SS and is making it into a movie?

  3. Ruben G –

    If a studio had agreed to make SS into a movie, I would have posted about it.

  4. i really like the spy school series, and I was overjoyed when I heard that there might be a
    a movie being made. and now I really want to send an angry letter to disney.
    but I do have one question, though:
    what’s your favorite color and why?

  5. Colin –

    I cannot possibly reach out separately to every individual who wants to know when casting will start. (If it starts.) But what I can do is put up a post announcing when casting starts. (If it ever does.)

  6. I just wanted to say i really love your spy school books and can’t stop reading them once I start it takes merely day to finish it. You are a great author pls continue righting them.

  7. Agent X –

    I am not going to post the summary for SS11 (or the tile or cover) for a few more months.

  8. book lover 3 –

    It is impossible to say who is going to play the roles before we even know if the movie is going to happen. As noted in this post, casting is handled by the casting director, who is not hired until the movie studio has decided to make the movie.

  9. I like that you make books.
    When is spy school 11 coming out?
    By the way, I love your SS series and the Moon Alpha series.

  10. Jon O –

    If you look in the right hand column of every single page of this website, you will find a list of upcoming releases.

  11. Mr. Gibbs,
    My name is Dulina Dias, and I have been an avid fan of your books, specifically Spy School. I even sent you a correction letter during COVID and quarantine on one of the book characters.

    Now, I’ve have come to address another error your recent Spy School book, Project X. The oldest university in American is not the University of Pennsylvania, but one of the most prominent, prestigious universities in the world, Harvard. Harvard was established in the 1600s, so I just wanted to let you know.

  12. Dulling Dias –

    I appreciate your writing about this but… You are incorrect. The University of Pennsylvania is the oldest UNIVERSITY in the United States. Harvard is older, but it was only Harvard College for a long time. The University of Pennsylvania has been a university longer than Harvard has.

  13. Hi mr. Gibbs, I love your books and I was wondering if you have read the I survived series. I enjoy your books and I have also read I survived and think they are simpler!

  14. Zoe Zibbel –

    Well, the I Survived books are shorter than mine, so it makes sense that their stories are a little simpler. But they are still good!

  15. Zoe Zibbell –

    It would be very hard to be an author and not enjoy writing. If someone doesn’t enjoy writing, I imagine they would not want to be an author.

  16. Hello Mr Gibbs, I was wondering if you ever read a book that’s so good that when you compare it to your own, it makes you less confident about your writing. I love your books and I’m on “British invasion” in the SS series.

  17. Ethan

    I read books that I admire and am impressed by all the time. But that doesn’t make me less confident in my own writing at all. Every writer has different strengths.

  18. Dear mr.Gibbs:Which studios have you tried?If you haven’t yet, you could try Paramount, because Paramount made the M:I movies and a lot of other famed and popular action movies , which means that they are more open to action movies.Also even though it hasn’t made much money yet since 2022 ,it was ,in a way ,the quickest studio to recover from the pandemic (I’m writing in 2023).The reason is that it is more open to all genres and types of movies, which ,consequently, also means you have a better shot.
    I know I don’t have any say over this, but I really hope the movie isn’t in animated form.There is one reason for this: It will un avoidably look silly.Speaking from an audience’s point of view , an animated movie about espionage will bring clashes between two different themes , no matter how fine the picture quality is, it won’t bring the feeling audiences want .
    If you have indeed tried Paramount, and have many good reasons for it to be animated,feel free to discharge it .
    P.S. If it is animated , what rating will it be?

  19. Dear Stuart Gibbs i just loved the spy School books they were fantastic
    Could you please write more?
    I know you already wrote S.S. goes north but pls write moooore
    You are fantastic !!
    Erica Hale fan

  20. I am an Italian actress (I am 11 and I have big green eyes and curly hair like Zoe ) so if you ever make a movi put your casting info here so I will send a pic so that maybe I can be Zoe

  21. Erica’s fan –

    If the movie does get made, and there is open casting, I will be sure to post about it here.

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