EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has optioned the bestselling children’s book The Princess In Black, the first of a four-book series written by Newbery winner Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, with illustrations by LeUyen Pham. Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will produce. Candlewick Press publishes the series.

The heroine is Princess Magnolia, who by day wears the obligatory flouncy dresses, but by night becomes the Princess in Black. The book marries the princess tradition with the superhero genre, a wish-fulfillment tale for contemporary young girls who like their pink dresses and tea parties with a side of combat boots and riding into battle on horseback. Marc Platt Productions’ Ryan Christians brought in the book and will oversee with Universal senior veep Kristin Lowe. Barry Goldblatt Literary reps Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. Linda Pratt at Wernick & Pratt Agency, LLC represents Pham. Gotham Group’s Eddie Gamarra manages all of them.