EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has hired Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Harper Dill to co-write an adaptation of the Sweet Valley High book series by Francine Pascal. Chernin Entertainment is producing. Sweet Valley High is a YA publishing phenomenon totaling over 600 books, and spawning spinoffs and a TV series.
Known for their wild plot twists, the books center on teenage twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who live in the fictional town of Sweet Valley, California. There has long been interest in a movie version, with Diablo Cody once aboard to write a script. It’s the first collaboration for Smith & Dill. Smith, who often writes with Karen McCullah, has credits that include Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man and House Bunny, and most recently she has been scripting Sister Act 3 and The Expendabelles. Dill is currently writing for the hit Fox sitcom The Mick and recently scripted 13 Little Blue Envelopes for New Line/Alloy Entertainment. Ashley Brucks is the executive at Paramount and Dani Bernfeld will oversee development for Chernin. Pascal is repped by Gersh; Smith is repped by Kaplan/Perrone Entertaintment and Karl Austen at Jackoway Tyerman. Dill is repped by CAA, Black Box Management and Hansen Jacobson.