Great news for children's literature fans: Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Treehouse book series will shortly be coming to a silver screen near you!
'We’re thrilled to bring the genius of Mary Pope Osborne’s iconic stories to the screen for their tens of millions of fans and to introduce a whole new audience to their magic.' - Erik Feig
If you grew up or had children anytime after the 80’s you'll probably have fond memories of Osborne’s Magic Treehouse books. Still going strong today - the most recent title was just published last month - the 54-book series follows the adventures of siblings Jack and Annie as they travel through time and space in their magical book-filled tree house. Part of the appeal of Osborne's books is that they aren't just flights of fancy - she's also well known in schools for providing teaching packs and a non-fiction series to help pupils explore the issues and themes raised in the Magic Tree House stories.
The book series is beloved by many across the globe, available in over 35 languages and has sold more than 130 million copies to date, so it’s no surprise that the rights to the entire series has been snapped up by Hollywood company Lionsgate. The good news is that Lionsgate is already well versed in turning children’s books into film franchises, responsible for everything from Twilight to The Hunger Games.
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig said of the news: 'We’re always looking for magical worlds to expand into potential motion picture franchises, and this is an iconic property that is beloved and recognisable around the world... cherished by generations of readers, including my own children.
We’re thrilled to bring the genius of Mary Pope Osborne’s iconic stories to the screen for their tens of millions of fans and to introduce a whole new audience to their magic.'
This book-to-movie news comes at a time when the studio is actively on the search for new material to follow its hugely successful Hunger Games and Divergent franchises. It announced last year that they would also be adapting the successful Kingkiller Chronicle series by Patrick Rothfuss. The company plans to develop multiple live-action films in the Magic Tree House universe, with the first movie starting with the 29th book, Christmas in Camelot, which sees Jack and Annie return to the tree house after outgrowing it before being summoned to Camelot to help the wizards of the round table.
Osborne is very excited about working with the company, and as part of the deal both herself and her husband, Will, will act as executive producers on the films - so we know we're in good hands!
There’s no further word on casting or a release date for the movie, but we'll deliver the scoop just as soon as we hear more. And if you can't wait for the Hollywood version, a Magic Tree House anime was released in Japan in 2012, by producer and director Hiroshi Nishikiori. In the meantime, be sure to check out Asda's fanatastic selection of books available online and in-store to whet your appetite.