Hulu is finalizing a deal to turn Trenton Lee Stewart’s ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ into a live-action series. The show will be produced by Sonar Entertainment, 20th Century Fox TV (now a Disney subsidiary), and Jamie Tarses’ Fanfare. Writers Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay will adapt Stewart’s book, and Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will act as showrunners. James Bobin is attached to direct the pilot. All five will serve as executive producers, along with Tarses, and Karen Kehela Sherwood.
‘The Mysterious Benedict Society’ follows the exploits of four “gifted” kids who are either orphans or are estranged from their parents– the remarkably average Reynard “Reynie” Muldoon, brainy George “Sticky” Washington (everything he learns “sticks” to his brain), the athletic and resourceful Kate Wetherall, and the stubborn and intelligent Constance Contraire. The boys are 11 years-old, while Kate is 12. As for Kate… just wait and see.
The foursome come under the care of the enigmatic Mr. Nicholas Benedict, who sends them to infiltrate the bizarre Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened or L.I.V.E., run by Ledroptha Curtain, which his using subliminal signals to incite mass panic and to destabilize the governments of the world, a threat known as “The Emergency.”
The first book, written by Stewart, with illustrations by Carson Ellis was published in 2007, and was followed by ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey’ in 2008, and ‘The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma’ in 2009. The prequel book, ‘The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict’ was published in 2012. The books have been compared to the ‘Lemony Snicket’ series, which was turned into a series by Netflix.
Show writers Manfredi and Hay co-wrote the ‘Ridealong’ movies, ‘Destroyer’, ‘The Invitation’, ‘R.I.P.D.’, ‘Clash of the Titans’, and ‘Æon Flux’, as well as Amazon’s TV series ‘The Boys’. Showrunners Slavkin and Swimmer recently held the same position on the series ‘Shadowhunters’. Bobin directed the recent film ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’, as well as ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, ‘Lupin the 3rd’, ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Muppet’s Most Wanted’. He also directed several episodes of ‘Flight of the Conchords’. Taika Waititi also got his start on ‘Flight of the Conchords’, so here’s hoping that Bobin can bring a similar tone to this project.
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