‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’: Disney+ Announces Book Series Adaptation!!

It’s Disney+ Day, and as the studio celebrates the second anniversary of its streaming platform, the flood of news continues with the announcement (via Deadline) that a new adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles is in development. Based on the children’s book series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, the Disney+ version will appear as a series on the streamer at some point in the future.

Disney is keeping further details under wraps at the moment. The eventual Disney+ series follows the 2008 film of the same name, which mainly adapted the first book, The Field Guide. The story follows twins Jared and Simon Grace (both played by The Good Doctor‘s Freddie Highmore in the film) as they move with their mother and sister into an old mansion and discover a book written by a great-uncle named Arthur Spiderwick which functions as a guide to the world of magical creatures around them. They learn that the fearsome shape-shifting ogre called Mulgarath wants to exploit the book for his own nefarious reasons.

Aside from a 2011 video game, the 2008 movie directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls), remains the sole attempt to adapt the book series. The Field Guide, published in 2003, was followed by The Seeing Stone (2003), Lucinda’s Secret (2003), The Ironwood Tree (2004), and The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004). These were followed by a second series of books called Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, comprised of The Nixie’s Song (2007), A Giant Problem (2008), and The Wyrm King (2009). Should the Disney+ series prove popular, there is clearly plenty of source material to choose from.

2008’s The Spiderwick Chronicles received decent reviews (which specifically praised Highmore‘s dual performances), but its domestic box office take of $71 million fell short of its estimated $90 million budget. The movie did better overseas, for a combined international total of $164 million. Still, this was evidently not enough for Paramount and Nickelodeon to justify more entries.

There is no shortage of middle-grade and YA content on Disney+, but The Spiderwick Chronicles is a bit more high-profile than many of them. This new adaptation follows the path of Netflix‘s version of A Series of Unfortunate Events, based on the books by Lemony Snicket. After the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey failed to launch a franchise, Netflix created a show that ran for three seasons and was much more faithful to the source novels. We’ll find out if The Spiderwick Chronicles and the books’ standard but entertaining Hero’s Journey formula remains popular enough for the new series to breakthrough. Check out the newly released concept art and poster below:


via Collider

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