The iconic and beloved children’s book Eloise written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight, about a naughty young girl living on the “tippy-top floor” of the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City, is being adapted into a live-action film.
Linda Woolverton is writing the screenplay for MRC Films, the independent production behind Mortal Engines and Knives Out. MRC has also secured film, television, and stage rights for a series of leisurely readings written by Thompson and illustrated by Knight. A director or cast members have yet to be named.
“I couldn’t be more excited and honored to adapt Kay Thompson’s delightful book and character for the screen with MRC Film,” Woolverton said. “I absolutely love Eloise for her mischievousness, her irreverence, her imagination, and made-up words. Her playground, the Plaza Hotel, is an iconic symbol of all that’s wonderful about New York City.”
Eloise was the focus of made-for-television movies, namely Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime for Walt Disney TV in 2003. There was also an animated TV series called Me, Eloise! played on Starz Kids and Family Network in 2006.
Woolverton and MRC Films are working on the forthcoming adaptation with Handmade Films, Thompson properties, Knight, and book publisher Simon & Schuster. Handmade’s Trudi Francis will be the executive producer of the film.
Woolverton was the screenwriter for various classic Disney films, such as both the animated and live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, the animated Lion King, Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, and the live-action of Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. She is the first female screenwriter with just $1 billion in total film credit at the worldwide box office.
“Linda has helped create some of the most beloved characters of all time,” said MRC Film co-presidents Brye Adler and Jonathan Golfman. “We are honored and beyond excited to be partnering with her and can’t wait to see her bring all of Eloise’s charm and heart and rascally-ness to life.”