Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories series is to be turned into a film set in Roman Britain.
If successful, the first feature is expected to kick off a film franchise, according to a spokesperson for Rocket Licensing, the company recently appointed by publisher Scholastic to manage UK licensing for Horrible Histories.
Scheduled to go into production next year and due for release in 2019, "Horrible Histories: The Movie" is being produced by UK distribution, sales and production company Altitude Film Entertainment with Citrus Films, whose television arm is behind the small-screen adaptations of Horrible Histories broadcast on BBC. Altitude’s recent hits include the Oscar-winning “Moonlight”, “Lady Macbeth” and “Loving Vincent”.
The film has been written by Jessica Swale, the Olivier award-winning writer of the play “Nell Gwynn” that transferred from Shakespeare’s Globe to the West End. Dominic Brigstocke, who developed the TV version of "Horrible Histories", will direct the feature, which will be set in Roman Britain.
Joint m.d of Rocket Licensing, Charlie Donaldson, said: “A film version of the hit TV show and books was always likely but this is still an enormously exciting development. The writing, acting, directing and producing talent behind this project will further enhance a brand that, after almost 25 years old, is as fresh, funny and popular as ever.”
Written by Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories books were first published by Scholastic in 1993 and there are now more than 80 titles available in 31 countries and a multimedia franchise. The books have sold 5.57 million copies making £27.5m, according to Nielsen BookScan.