Scholastic Inc and Universal sign development deal

Scholastic Inc and Universal sign development deal

US publisher Scholastic Inc has signed a three-year agreement to produce live-action films, based on children’s properties, with Universal Pictures.

Universal is already developing Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, a multi-million selling property based on the books by Normal Bridwell, and The 39 Clues, a series of adventure stories written by multiple authors.

Both of the projects will be produced by Deborah Forte, who is stepping down as president of Scholastic Media to set up her own production company, Silvertongue Films.

Universal’s co-presidents of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum and Peter Cramer announced the news yesterday (10th March).

“Scholastic has had tremendous success developing children’s books into recognized global brands,” Kirschenbaum said in a statement.  “We’re thrilled to be entering into partnerships with them and with Deborah, who has a vast knowledge and familiarity with the Scholastic library and can help us turn some of these stories into great family films.”

In the UK, Chicken House signed a similar deal with a film production company last month. Under the terms of the partnership, the publisher will develop book and film projects simultaneously with Altitude.