The beloved children’s book series, The Magic School Bus, is being adapted into a live-action movie by Universal, Elizabeth Banks’ Brownstone Productions and Marc Platt. In addition to producing, Banks will also star as the adventurous and flamboyant teacher Ms. Frizzle.
Written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, the popular book series focuses on the intrepid Ms. Frizzle and her class and their many science-focused field trips in their handy yellow school bus. Depending on the nature of the field trip and the science concept being explored, the school bus magically transforms into a plane, submarine, spaceship, or surfboard.
Alongside Banks, also producing are Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions and President and Chief Strategy Officer Iole Lucchese; SVP & General Manager Caitlin Friedman of Scholastic Entertainment; Marc Platt and Adam Siegel of Marc Platt Productions. Brownstone’s Alison Small will serve as Executive Producer.
“We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day,” said Lucchese. “We’re also extremely excited to be working with such top-tier partners as Elizabeth Banks, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions, Universal Pictures, and all of the amazing talent assembled for this noteworthy feature film.”
Sara Scott and Lexi Barta from Universal Pictures will oversee production along with Ryan Christians for Marc Platt Productions.
In addition to printing over 80 million copies of The Magic School Bus worldwide, Scholastic’s successful book series was first adapted into a PBS animated TV series, featuring Lily Tomlin as Ms. Frizzle. The show aired for 18 consecutive years in the U.S. and in over 100 countries, making it the longest-running kids sciences series in history. The series received many positive reviews and earned more than 100 awards, among them an Emmy Award, National Education Association Award and Annenberg Award.