Scholastic Entertainment, the media division of Scholastic, is joining forces with Brownstone Productions (Pitch Perfect franchise, Charlie’s Angels), Marc Platt Productions (La La Land, Legally Blonde) and Universal Pictures to develop a feature-length, live-action hybrid film that will bring Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® to the big screen for the first time in the 26-year history of the brand. Multi-hyphenate Elizabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect, The Hunger Games) is set to portray teacher extraordinaire Ms. Frizzle. Producers are Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions, President and Chief Strategy Officer Iole Lucchese and SVP & General Manager Caitlin Friedman for Scholastic Entertainment, and Marc Platt and Adam Siegel for Marc Platt Productions. Alison Small serves as Executive Producer for Brownstone Productions.
“We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day,” said Lucchese. “We’re also extremely excited to be working with such top-tier partners as Elizabeth Banks, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions, Universal Pictures, and all of the amazing talent assembled for this noteworthy feature film.”
Ryan Christians from Marc Platt Productions will oversee production with Sara Scott and Lexi Barta from Universal Pictures.
The upcoming The Magic School Bus film is based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by author Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen, now with over 80 million books in print worldwide. The science-centered series features the intrepid Ms. Frizzle and her class, who set out on field trips in their familiar-looking yellow school bus that magically transforms into a plane, submarine, spaceship, or surfboard, depending on the science concept being explored.
The popular books were first adapted into a critically-acclaimed animated TV series, featuring Lily Tomlin in the starring role as Ms. Frizzle, on PBS in 1994. The show aired for 18 consecutive years in the U.S. and has been broadcast in more than 100 countries around the world, making it the longest-running kids science series in history. The standout program has earned more than 100 prestigious awards, including an Emmy® Award, Annenberg Award and National Education Association Award. The Magic School Bus has also garnered high praise from parents and educators for making science education fun and appealing to all audiences.
An animated sequel to the original series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, featuring Kate McKinnon (SNL) as Ms. Frizzle’s sister, Fiona, debuted on Netflix in 2017. Multi-award-winning composer/lyricist/playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights) sang the theme song.