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.

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

  1. Abby Walker –

    No updates on the SS movie. And sadly, once a studio has said no, there is virtually no chance they will change their mind.

  2. Agent 007

    Fox optioned my script years ago. The option has since lapsed and i control the script again.

  3. Will you ever end SS
    Don’t get me wrong I love the series but I feel like it might feel like the series is just being milked if we get to like SS20

  4. Berica –

    Some day, I will end the SS series. Hopefully, before it starts to feel too old.

  5. Nice . I cant wait spy school 9 and 10 translate for my country too 😀 . And a question. What happens school 10 ? Erika is spyder spy?

  6. I was so happy to hear that there will be a 10 book. I really like the spy school series and I also love the last musketeer! You are my favourite author

  7. You are an incredible author with serious writing skill and I truly appreciate your love for nature and conservation. Your books combined with my imagination have inspired me to become a marine biologist.

  8. is erica going to be a turncoat in one of your books you are a amazing author i love your books and encoage you to write more

  9. hank –

    I don’t really like to spoil things but I am making an exception here: Erica is never going to switch sides.

  10. Stuart-
    If you google: Will there be an 11th Spy School book, the answer is yes, is this true?
    I love the Spy School books, and they will never get old for me, please don’t stop the SS series any time soon.
    P.S Any new updates on the movie? I can’t get over the fact that Disney turned you down.

  11. Brendan Garvey –

    Seeing as the upcoming releases box on every page of this website says there will be a Spy School 11, I would say that Google is correct.

    No updates on the movie, sadly.

  12. Honestly i dont really want a movie and i dont really like the graphic novel i mean like its because i think people should imagine what it would be like and because if you imagine erica hale or ben ripley one way and you see the movie its way differant but i mena peoplke can have their owen oppinions but im just saying *eh*

  13. I think that the spy school series is pretty great i think they just keep getting better and i cant wait for the next book i think its kinda clever because you included your children in every single one of your series so far and i think its very clever.

  14. I think that because Disney sucks(no offense to Disney fans) you should go to the other movie productions like Sony or Columbia productions ya’know?


    Every movie studio in town knows about Spy School. Just waiting for one of them to step up and make it.

  16. Hi Stuart! I’m very disappointed that Disney turned your offer down and my family loves Disney but, It will be hard to forgive them for this. I personally believe you should try Netflix for SSM because they release great content, but it is your say. Now I have come up with actors for the movie but, after reading the other comments I do have to respect that it is the casting director’s job. I also love your books SSAS being tied with ESS for my favorite and I can’t wait for SSPX!

  17. Alexander Hale But Worse

    I have tried with Netflix many, many, many, many times. They are not interested. There is word that Netflix might be stopping production of shows for kids altogether, so don’t count on them doing SS any time soon.

  18. Have you tried paramount yet

    P.S. I love all of them but my favorite is SSSS

  19. You make the best Books. I have only read the Spy School series, But I’m about to Try Charlie Thorne book 1. I bet it will BE GREAT. I’ve read the whole Spy School Series, and I Hope you have 20 More ideas. They Are the Best books ever made. How did you come up with the idea For them?

  20. Maybe try a studio outside of Hollywood and if the first movie is a success then maybe the Hollywood studios will want to produce it because of the success of the first film

  21. Ben Ripley (and everyone else who has offered advice on where to set up the movie) –

    Trust me, my agents are working on this. They know how the business works.

  22. Is it true that the Tower Bridge, Washington Monument and Statue of Liberty all have national security purposes?

  23. Hello Mr. Gibbs.
    I started a book club with my nephew to get him to enjoy reading more and our first book was Belly Up. We both really enjoyed it! We are having our book club meeting at the Philadelphia Zoo (not quite FunJungle) before we go to the Penn Mens Lacrosse 1st round game in the NCAA Tournament. My son is on the team, and a junior at Penn. I just learned that you went to Penn and made some wonderful lifetime friends! My son feels the same – he absolutely loves it!
    Keep writing! Young kids need these engaging books to become lifetime readers!
    All the best,

  24. Kate Bavuso –

    Not only did I go to Penn, but Belly Up and the FJ series are based upon my experiences working at the Philadelphia Zoo in college. (So that Zoo is really FunJungle, in a way.) Thanks for getting your nephew excited about reading!

    I hope your son does well in the tournament! Go Quakers!

  25. Teddy Fitzroy –

    I do not have a favorite book of my own. I have worked too hard on all of my books to say that I like one better than all the others.

  26. Stuart Gibbs–
    My siblings and I LOVE your writing, so I wanted to encourage you to continue.
    Can’t wait for another great book!!

  27. How many spy school books do you expect to write and are you gonna start a new series related to space, because I loved your moon base alpha series.

  28. Aarush Sharma –

    I do not know how many SS books there will be, and at the moment, I have four series going, which means that I’m not going to start a new series (about space or anything else) for quite some time.

  29. I read online that 20th Century Fox is going to make your SS books in to a film franchise. Can you confirm that that is true?

  30. Ruben G –

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

    That was probably 3-4 years old.

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

  32. Ruben G –

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

  33. 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?

  34. 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.)

  35. 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.

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