Back in 2015, rumors appeared on the internet that Universal Pictures would be bringing the beloved Animorphs books to the big screen as a live-action film. The rumors faded over time but it looks like Animorphs will be getting its shot on the big scree. The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that Erik Feig & Scholastic are bringing Katherine Applegate & Michael Grant‘s Animoprphs to the big screen. The film is set to be produced by Caitlin Friedman & Iole Lucchese of Scholastic Entertainment, with Royce Reeves & Friedman overlooking the script.
The Animorphs books were published between 1996-2001 & consist of 54 books. There was also an Animorphs show that aired on YTV for its first season & Nickelodeon for its second season from 1998-2000.
No story details or release date has been revealed about the film but Feige had this to say:
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Scholastic to adapt Animorphs, an iconic book series with a wildly unique combination of exciting, witty, outlandish and grounded elements that feel all too relevant for our times. We know these books have a deservedly deep bench of passionate fans — ourselves included— and we hope to make Katherine Applegate and her co-author, Michael Grant, proud as we bring Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias to life for a new generation.”
“The central themes of Animorphs have resonated strongly with kids for more than two decades, and the time is right for a feature film that takes this captivating sci-fi adventure to another level for audiences today. Picturestart has an incredible track record of success, and Erik and his team are the perfect partners to help bring this exciting new series based on the adventure-packed books to movie screens.”
The synopsis from the book series is as follows:
The story revolves around five humans: Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (nicknamed Ax), who obtain the ability to transform into any animal they touch. Naming themselves “Animorphs” (a portmanteau of “animal morphers”), they use their ability to battle a secret alien infiltration of Earth by a parasitic race of aliens resembling large slugs called Yeerks, that can take any living creatures as a host by entering and merging with their brain through the ear canal. The Animorphs fight as a guerilla force against the Yeerks who are led by Visser Three.
Throughout the series, the Animorphs carefully protect their identities; the Yeerks assume that the Animorphs are a strike force sent by the Andalites, the alien race to which Ax belongs that created the transformation technology, to prevent them from conquering Earth. To protect their families from Yeerk reprisals, the Animorphs maintain this façade.
Though the Animorphs can assume the form of any animal they touch to acquire the DNA, there are several limitations to the ability. The most vital is that they cannot stay in animal form for more than two hours, or they will be unable to return to human form and the morphs become permanent. Others include having to de-morph back to human in between morphs, only tight clothing being able to be carried over with a morph, and having to consistently maintain concentration during a morph to prevent the animal’s natural instincts from overwhelming the human intellect. A benefit to morphing is that it allows the team to heal any superficial, non-genetic injury, sustained as a human or in a morph. Also, while in morph, they can telepathically communicate with anyone nearby.