EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has found a director for Monster High, the live action film the studio hopes will add to its arsenal of movie franchises. I hear the job is going to Ari Sandel, who won the Oscar for his short film West Bank Story and followed up by directing The Duff for CBS Films. This was a big open directing assignment. This ties into Universal’s effort to defibrilate new life into its library of classic monsters that include Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolfman. This film is tied directly to the Mattel toyline that exploded in 2010 and became a billion dollar franchise. The toymaker’s Playground Productions is exec producing.

ari sandelMonster High is where the children of famous monsters go to school and come of age. The script was written by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz and the film’s being produced by those two through their Fake Empire banner, and Storyline’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. The latter duo brought the project to Universal when the Mattel toy was a protoype, and Universal then tied it into its existing monsters. Savage and Schwartz have a deal at Uni, where they are also producing Just One Day and Just One Year from the bestselling YA novels. The Storyline duo just set at Universal the thriller In Sight, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to star and exec produce. WME and Principato Young rep Sandel. WME and Joel McKuin rep Schwartz and Savage