In Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil, kids don’t just get sorted by their proclivities; they’re trained to be heroes or villains. The bestselling series has sold more than two million copies—and now it’s coming to life courtesy of Netflix, which just released the first teaser for director Paul Feig’s movie adaptation.
Feig seems like a weird choice for this family-friendly middle-grade tale, but there is more to his resume than Bridesmaids and The Heat. The screenplay comes from David Magee, who also wrote the adaptation of Life of Pi and A Man Called Otto. But what’s most promising is the cast: Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Laurence Fishburne, Kerry Washington, and Rachel Bloom are among the adults who’ve signed on to shepherd their young charges through the halls of fairy-tale school.
The story follows two new students, besties Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie), who are certain they know which side of the school they’ll wind up in: Sophie has princessly aspirations and wants to follow in the footsteps of Snow White and Cinderella, while surly Agatha is presumed to be a natural fit for the evil side of things. When they get assigned to the opposite sides, it calls everything into question.
Theron, in full evil headmaster getup, narrates much of the teaser, explaining the school’s purpose. The two girls get whisked off to a dramatic castle-like school by a… stick bird? Much of the imagery here is classic and familiar, but we’ll have to wait to see what else the adaptation has to offer. The School for Good and Evil premieres on Netflix this September.