All posts by Stu

Bad news about the Spy School movie — for now

Hey everyone –

I know you have been waiting a long time for an update about the Spy School movie — and I am sure this is not what you were hoping for.  It’s certainly not what I was hoping for.

After 54 weeks of doing nothing with the movie script, Disney decided that they were not going to move forward with the Spy School movie.

Why?  I don’t really have a great answer for that.  I was told that Disney had some concerns with the story involving kids in real danger — which you’d think they would have been able to figure out was part of the plot long ago, given the title.

Sadly, this kind of thing happens a lot in Hollywood.  As I keep saying, it is very hard to get a movie made.

This does not mean the movie will never get made.  My agents can now try to set the project up at another movie studio or streaming service.  We will see what happens.

In the meantime, feel free to write angry letters to Disney or cancel your Disney + accounts in protest.

The virtual launch for Charlie Thorne is March 2

Hi everyone –

As crazy as it seems, we are coming up on the one year anniversary of our pandemic lockdown.  In March of 2020, I suddenly had to cancel my book tour for Tyrannosaurus Wrecks and ended up doing a Facebook Live event for the launch instead.

Then I did another Facebook Live launch for Spy School Revolution in October.

And now, not surprisingly, I will be doing a third Facebook Live launch on March 2 to celebrate the release of Charlie Thorne and the Lost City.  It will be an hour long, starting at 7pm est / 4pm pst.

As with the other events, this will be coordinated via Once Upon A Time Bookstore, using their Facebook page.  Click here to access it.

I will begin by giving some background on Charlie Thorne 2, and then answer questions from viewers.  In addition, if you would like a signed copy of CT2 — or any of my other books — I will sign them all that day and they will be shipped out as soon as possible.

So… if you would like to be one of the only people on earth with a signed copy of Charlie Thorne and the Lost City, contact Once Upon A Time by March 2.  Click here to do that.

And tune in on March 2!

The Exclusive Edition of Bear Bottom is now available for preorder from Barnes & Noble

Hi folks!  As you can tell from my very clever post heading, the exclusive edition of Bear Bottom is now available for pre-order from Barnes & Noble.

Like all other exclusive editions, this one has 16 pages of bonus content written by me, plus a special cover with a poster on the inside of the book jacket.  And yet, despite all this extra stuff… it’s the exact same cost as the regular book.

Plus, on occasion, the exclusive editions ship a little earlier than the regular ones.  (Although I can’t guarantee that will happen.)

Click here to pre-order it!

 

 

Spy School 9 cover and title reveal

Hey readers.  I know many of you have been very eager for this post.  Ever since Spy School Revolution came out, people have been asking me when I was going to reveal the plot, title and cover for SS9.

Well, here’s the cover — yet another masterful job by Lucy Cummins:

 

And here is the synopsis:

Thanks to the evidence Ben uncovered in his investigation of the Croatoan, the CIA has tracked his nemesis, Murray Hill, to Central America, where they believe he is boarding the world’s biggest cruise ship, The Emperor of the Seas, on its maiden voyage around the world.

The CIA and MI6 want to find out what Murray is plotting, but to do that, they need to send in the person who knows Murray Hill the best: Ben Ripley. Only Ben can’t be sent in alone. So he’ll be posing as part of a family, with Alexander and Catherine Hale as his parents, Erica as his sister, and his best friend Mike as his brother.

At first, it sounds exciting to have a mission on the most glamorous ocean liner on earth, but as usual, nothing goes according to plan. There is action, danger, and plenty of surprises as Ben and his team quickly find themselves in hot water.

And finally, here is the release date (although, before you get too excited, let me say that I’m still not 100% sure that this is confirmed): August 31, 2021.

Click here to pre-order it!

THAT IS ALL THE INFORMATION I AM GOING TO GIVE BOUT THIS BOOK.  BECAUSE THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE LESS FUN IT WILL BE TO READ THE BOOK WHEN IT COMES OUT.  SO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO ANSWER ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK.  I WILL JUST TELL YOU TO RE-READ THIS POST.

An American Tragedy

Hi folks.  Some days, as an author, you just brainstorm ideas.  That’s what I was doing today, working of plots for future Spy School books, when I decided to take a short break for lunch and turned on the news, expecting to see the confirmation of the election results.

Instead, I found myself watching armed terrorists storming the United States Capitol.  Terrorists who were encouraged by own president in an attempted coup.

My job is to make up crazy plots, but I honestly couldn’t have ever invented something as insane like this.

I usually try to avoid being political, because parents of young readers generally don’t like it when authors express political views to their children.  (Unless they agree with those views, in which case they are generally all for it.)  But enough is enough.  What is going on here today is horrible and wrong.  I felt ashamed that my children were witnessing it — and I am ashamed that all of you are too.

As a young reader, you might not think that your voice matters, but it does.  And it will matter more and more as you get older.  So you need to know that what is happening today is wrong.  I am not engaging in hyperbole when I call these people terrorists or call this an attempted coup.  That’s what it is.  They invaded the seat of our government with the intent of interfering with the results of an election.

If you know people who support this — or who think it is all amusing — those people are wrong.

I know that I have poked fun at how the government works, or spun plots with high-level government officials who turn out to be parts of conspiracy groups, but I know all of you are smart enough to know that is just in fun.  The idea that a President of the United States would disregard the truth that he lost an election, spread unfounded rumors about that and then incite his supporters to overturn the will of the majority is shocking to me.  It seems like the stuff of fiction.  But sadly, today it’s not.

This is a dark day in our of our lifetimes.  I’m sorry that you had to see it happen.  And I hope you understand that the responsibility of this lies entirely on President Donald Trump.  It wouldn’t have happened without his doing.  That makes him far worse than any fictional villain I could ever invent.

Some day, not too long from now, you will be able to vote.  And when you do, I hope that you vote for candidates who actually care about people, the environment, and this country.  I hope that we never have another day like this in our country again.

UPDATE:  A few people have, on occasion, posted comments to this post claiming to believe in a fictional version of the events that happened.  (Namely, that Antifa and BLM members were secretly behind the uprising, rather than Trump’s supporters.)  Click here to read an extremely good — and well-researched — article from the New York Times explaining exactly how that lie was spread.

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.

Great new merchandise available now!

Looking for something different to get for your friends this holiday season?  Or looking for the perfect gift for yourself?

There is now a lot of newly-redesigned merchandise available at the on-line store on this website: new shirts, bags, sweatshirts, caps and more!  Just click here to check it all out.

And… Now, the Spy School vs SPYDER collection is finally available in paperback!

Click here to get it!

And now… the title, cover and plot of FunJungle 7!

Hey readers!  Perhaps you recall my post from earlier this year, when I announced that due to the extra time I had to write (and not travel) thanks to COVID-19, I was able to get FunJungle 7 out earlier than expected.  In fact, it will be out next May!

Well, it is my great pleasure to reveal the title — and yet another great cover by Lucy Cummins:

In the seventh novel in New York Times bestselling Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series, Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth to solve the disappearances of endangered bison and an irreplaceable necklace.

Teddy Fitzroy, his family, and some other FunJungle employees have been invited to visit a bison ranch just outside Yellowstone National Park that FunJungle’s owner, J.J. McCracken, is considering purchasing. But as usual, trouble isn’t far behind.

The ranch’s endangered bison have been mysteriously disappearing. Then a massive local grizzly bear named Sasquatch breaks into the house, causing chaos. In the aftermath, Kandace McCracken discovers that her exceptionally expensive sapphire necklace has vanished.

Was it stolen? Or did Sasquatch eat it? (And if so, can it be recovered?) And what’s been happening to the bison?

With over a dozen suspects, it’s up to Teddy to detangle this hairy situation, before his family or friends—or any more expensive objects—become dinner.

You can click here to preorder it.

Here’s Why I Can’t Answer Certain Questions You Have About My Books

Hi everyone –

I have been deluged with questions since Spy School Revolution came out, and while I have been doing my best to answer them, I have noticed that there are categories of questions that come up again and again.  So rather than answering them repeatedly, I figured I’d try to address them in a blog post.

Category One:  Questions about what is going to happen in future books

This is the type of question I get asked the most and there’s a simple reason why I feel it would be better not to answer them: Because it will ruin future surprises in the books for you — and this ruin some of the fun of reading those books.

You hate spoilers, right?  Well, asking me to tell you who Ben Ripley will end up with — or whether or not a character you like is going to reappear in a future book — or really anything about the future of any series — is asking me to spoil something for you.  I know you want to find out what’s in store, but I promise you, the less you know about what’s coming, the more fun the read will be.

Category Two: Questions about things that didn’t get answered in the books

If I didn’t share a piece of information with you in the book, that wasn’t an oversight.  It’s because I didn’t want to share that piece of information.  Often, this is because I’m saving it to reveal in another book.

For example, I know there are some questions left at the end of SSR.  But if I had wanted to answer those questions, I would have.  I promise, they will eventually be answered — although I think most of you could probably make very educated guesses about what happened.

Category Three: Questions about obscure things

And author can’t possibly tell you every single thing that happened to every single character over the course of their lives.  Honestly, we can’t possibly even imagine all those things.  We have to leave many things out of the story.  So if you’re writing to ask what happened to a character after the Moon Base Alpha series ended — or what a character likes for breakfast — or whether someone likes cats or dogs better — the answer is honestly: I don’t know.  Whatever you imagine the answer to be is good enough for me.

Category Four: Questions about what my characters look like

I get a lot of requests to specifically describe characters which is because I didn’t specifically describe many of them in my books.  That’s because, frankly, I don’t think extremely specific character descriptions are very helpful.  My own experience is that, no matter how specifically a character is described, I probably imagine them the way I want to anyhow.  So I’m pretty sure that you do the same.  Therefore, whatever you imagine a character to look like is what they look like.

Now, this doesn’t really work for graphic novels or movies.  You will very obviously see the characters in the graphic novels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the only way they can look.  It’s just one version.  The chances are very slim that any character will look exactly as you imagined them in the graphic novel — or the movie.  There is nothing i or anyone else can do about this.  That’s just the way things are.  Try not to be disappointed.

And finally, this is probably the question I get asked more than any other, even though it is answered elsewhere on this site:

Category Five: Questions about how many books will be in each series

I can’t answer a question I don’t know the answer to.  And right now, I do not know how long each series will go.  Sorry.

 

The exclusive edition of Spy School Revolution is available for preorder from Barnes & Noble!

I am pleased to announce that Barnes & Noble is issuing yet another exclusive edition of one of my books.

Here’s what you need to know:

Limited collector’s edition of Spy School Revolution, the eighth book in Stuart Gibbs’s New York Times bestselling Spy School series, featuring an exclusive jacket with shiny blue foil, and a map of colonial era Virginia on the reverse side–plus 16 pages of bonus content, including super-secret post mission memos and some earlier drafts of the Declaration of Independence.

Superspy middle schooler Ben Ripley faces the Croatoan—a new evil organization that’s so mysterious, the only proof it exists is from the American Revolution—in this latest addition to the New York Timesbestselling Spy School series.

And get this: IT’S THE EXACT SAME PRICE AS THE REGULAR EDITION!

CLICK HERE to pre-order it now!