The big screen adaptation of the Mattel toy line Monster High, long in development, seems to be gaining momentum. Ari Sandel, who recently made his feature film directorial debut with the popular comedy The DUFF, has signed on to direct the project. Although he has few feature film credits, Sandel appears to be a good choice, considering the similarities between this picture and The DUFF. Both are coming of age stories set in a high school environment. One important difference is that the upcoming project takes place in a special kind of school, attended by the sons and daughters of monsters.
Making things more interesting, the teens don’t come from run-of-the-mill monster families. Their parents are some of the biggest monster icons of all time. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, “The female-skewing property focuses on the spawn of famous monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman (Draculaura, Frankie Stein and Clawdeen Wolf, respectively) undergoing the trials and tribulations of high school. High is not just toys but involves animated movies, video games [and] apps, among other games and activities.”
The project has been gestating since 2009, so it’s not surprising that major changes have been made, such as new screenwriters. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar wrote the original script. The new version was written by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, who have collaborated on a number of TV series, including Gossip Girl and The Astronaut Wives Club. They are also producing, via their Fake Empire banner. Mattel’s Playground Productions is set to executive produce.
Monster High will hit theaters on Oct. 7, 2016.