This should bring back memories for millennial readers: K.A. Applegate’s long-running Animorphs series is getting a film adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter says that Scholastic Entertainment is teaming up with Picturestart’s Erik Feig to develop a feature film about the shapeshifting teenagers.
Animorphs ran from 1996 to 2001 over 54 installments, each one coming with a fantastic set of covers featuring one of the characters slowly turning into an animal of some sort. The series kicks off when the five kids, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, come across a crashed alien spaceship in an abandoned lot, where they meet its pilot, Prince Elfangor, who explains to them that Earth is under invasion from an alien species known as the Yeerks, a slug-like alien that can slide into someone’s head and take over their body. The situation is dire, and before he’s killed by a Yeerk agent, he gives them shapeshifting powers to help fend off the invasion.
All the five teenagers have to do is touch an animal to absorb its DNA, and they can transform into it. However, they can’t remain as that animal for more than two hours, otherwise, they’ll be permanently trapped as said creature. Over dozens of sequels, the teenagers fight against the Yeerks while balancing their lives as teenagers in school.
This latest move comes paired with plans for Scholastic to adapt the books as a series of graphic novels, the first of which will hit stores in October. THR doesn’t reveal any other details about the project—there’s no studio, director, or cast of actors lined up for it yet, but it does point out that Scholastic has had some success with adaptations in recent years, in the form two Goosebumps movies that hit theaters in 2015 and 2018.
The series has been adapted before: it was a television show that ran on Nickelodeon for two seasons between 1998 and 2000 (check out the FANTASTIC late-90s intro), and in 2015, Universal Pictures was apparently eyeing the property as a film franchise. Presumably the advances in CGI will make for much better human-t0-animal transformations.