BREAKING: Looking for more franchise properties, Lionsgate has just acquired the rights to the Magic Tree House book series and says it plans to develop multiple live-action films for its Summit Entertainment label. The books, which are a 54-volume chronicle, were authored by Mary Pope Osborne. They follow the adventures of a brother and sister — Jack and Annie — after they discover a mysterious tree house and find a collection of books that transports them through history. The books have sold over 130M copies and have been translated into 35 languages so it seems ripe for a feature franchise. The most recent title was released only last month by Random House.

This is not the first time the books have gone to the big screen. Japanese anime producer Media Factory and director Hiroshi Nishikiori’s did an animated version of Magic Tree House in 2011.

The announcement comes a day before Lionsgate will have its earnings call with Wall Street, and comes at a time that its successful Hunger Games and Divergent franchises are winding down. As part of the deal with the author both she and her husband, Will Osborne, will serve as executive producers. Will Osborne and Jenny Laird have written the script for the first installment, based primarily on Book 29, Christmas In Camelot. In the movie, Jack and Annie rediscover the tree house after having outgrown it and are summoned to Camelot to be its saviors.

Scott
6 months
Shocking Resemblance Phoenix Cirillo has to Jack in the Magic Tree House when he puts on glasses....
John Shutt
6 months
I loved these books growing up so if they get a compontent director and avoid making any...

The property is well-branded through schools and other extension. For instance, prior to coming aboard as a writer on the feature script, Will Osborne (with Randy Courts) created a musical adaptation, Magic Tree House: The Musical, and worked with New Orleans composer Allen Toussaint for Magic Tree House: A Night In New Orleans. Osborne also developed a planetarium show entitled Magic Tree House: Space Mission for the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC. In addition to companion programs for educators, the Osbornes and Natalie Pope Boyce have also created a non-fiction series to supplement the facts inspiring the Magic Tree House stories, entitled Magic Tree House Fact Trackers.

“We’re always looking for magical worlds to expand into potential motion picture franchises, and this is an iconic property that is beloved and recognizable around the world,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig in making the announcement. “The Magic Tree House books have been cherished by generations of readers, including my own children.”

Prior to coming aboard as a writer on the feature script, Will Osborne was joined by Randy Courts in creating a musical adaptation, Magic Tree House: The Musical, and worked with New Orleans composer Allen Toussaint for Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans. Mr. Osborne also developed a planetarium show entitled Magic Tree House: Space Mission for the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In addition to companion programs for educators, the Osbornes and Natalie Pope Boyce have also created a non-fiction series to supplement the facts inspiring the Magic Tree House stories, entitled Magic Tree House Fact Trackers.

Gail Hochman of Brandt & Hochman has been Mary Pope Osborne’s literary agent for over 25 years. Eric Brown and Rose Schwartz of Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, represented Osborne and the screenwriters. Bonnie Stylides, Senior Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, negotiated the deal on behalf of Lionsgate.