'Animorphs,' Popular Kids Books From the '90s, Set for Big Screen Adaptation

The beloved Animorphs book series is headed to the big screen. Scholastic, who published the young adult series by author K.A. Applegate has teamed up with producer Erik Feig to handle the adaptation, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Animorphs told the tale of five kids who are granted the power to can change into the shape of any animal they touch from a dying alien. They use that power they use to fight a secret alien invasion, who themselves are posting as humans.

A total of 54 books were published between 1996 to 2001, with over 34 million copies in print. Scholastic Entertainment's Iole Lucchese will produce the film. He said that the themes of the book "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."

Feig himself called 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." He also addressed the books' dedicated fanbase, promising them a faithful adaptation to film. "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."

This isn't the first time the Animorphs books have been adapted. There was a Nickelodeon series back in 1998, which ran for 26 episodes across two seasons before going off the air in 2000. There were rumors that Universal was putting together a different big-screen adaptation back in 2015, though that never came to fruition.

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There were also a handful of videogames based on the books released in 2000. Animorphs: Know the Secret was a standard action-adventure game, which let players switch between four of the Animorphs, Cassie, Jake, Marco and Rachel — but not Tobias. Animorphs: Shattered Reality was a Playstation platformer, which revolved around four of the Animorphs trying to find pieces of the Continuum Crystal. There was later a version produced for the Game Boy Color.

News of the Animorphs film marks Scholastic's latest foray into blockbuster entertainment. Most recently, the company teamed with Sony for the Goosebumps adaptations, and there's the long-gestating Clifford the Big Red Dog movie, a live-action/animation hybrid that's still slated to hit theaters in November.