Glee's Chris Colfer has struck Hollywood gold with news that his best-selling fantasy book series, The Land of Stories, is being adapted into a feature film backed by director/producer Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Real Steel) and 20th Century Fox. The 27-year-old, Golden Globe-winning actor and author will also serve as the screenwriter/director for the first film, titled after the debut volume in the six-book collection, The Wishing Spell.
First published in 2012, The Land of Stories universe has blossomed into a marketable garden of novels, children's picture books, audiobooks, in-world kid's chapter books and even a future graphic novel. It chronicles the adventures of two siblings cast into a magical volume of fairy tales where all the characters actually exist.
Reactions to the books vary according to the age of the readers as it is definitely skewed toward a young middle-school audience and feels slightly like a tamer version of TV's Once Upon A Timemeets Shrek and The Chronicles of Narnia. The books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into 20 languages, demonstrating their incredible appeal and resonance across continents.
In addition to The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning, and Beyond the Kingdoms, the sixth and final installment, Worlds Collide, is set for publication on July 11.
Here's the official synopsis for The Wishing Spell:
Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Levy's 21 Laps Entertainment is responsible for gracing us with the geeky glories of Stranger Things and the exceptional sci-fi thriller, Arrival, so this latest venture into genre fare could explode into a crowd-pleasing franchise if the sales figures translate into ticket sales.
Are you familiar with Colfer's The Land of Stories and do you think the newbie director can deliver a fantastic feature?