A big screen adaptation of Rachel Renee Russell’s bestselling YA novel Dork Diaries is in the works, and Mean Girls director Mark Waters is in talks to direct. The upcoming Lionsgate production, intended as the first installment in a new film franchise, could appeal to people of all ages, as the books have already done. Although movies based on YA novels are typically aimed at a teen audience, the studio reportedly hopes to target young moviegoers and their parents.
The story centers on eighth grader Nikki Maxwell and her family, as Nikki struggles to navigate life in a private school, chronicling her experiences of making new friends and trying to avoid making enemies.
The screenplay was written by newcomer Annie Hendy. Producing the film is John Sacchi (My Bloody Valentine).
The book series, which also features comic strips and other drawings, has sold over 21 million copies. A total of nine books have been published so far. The first novel, Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life, was released in 2009. The 10th installment, Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter, will be available on Oct. 20.
No casting news yet. A few months ago the franchise’s website asked fans for suggestions concerning who they’d like to see in various roles.
Waters has significant experience with youth-oriented projects. In addition to Mean Girls, he directed the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday and more recently Vampire Academy. His next movie is a feature film version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Dork Diaries is expected to hit theaters in 2016.