This is a series tailor-made for Disney’s upcoming family-oriented direct-to-consumer platform. I hear the streaming service is moving forward with Book of Enchantment, an adaptation of the Villains book series by Serena Valentino featuring some of Disney’s most popular villains. The project hails from Michael Seitzman (Quantico, Code Black), ABC Signature Studios and Seitzman and Christina Davis’ ABC Studios-based Maniac Productions.
No one would comment but I hear that Book Of Enchantment is envisioned as an epic universe that weaves classic Disney tales told in a brand new way. The project had been in development for more than six months, with Seitzman writing a pilot script and a bible for the series. He serves as showrunner for Book of Enchantment, which is currently hiring writers, with a writers room slated to open in April. I hear there is no official green light as budget numbers are still being crunched, but locations are being scouted for a 2020 shoot in the UK.
Maniac and ABC Signature already are involved in another ambitious series that is building a cinematic universe based on well-known IP — an innovative two-series drama project in the works at Hulu based on two John Grisham’s novels, 1995’s The Rainmaker and 2015’s Rogue Lawyer. It is envisioned as the first chapter in a larger franchise, a multi-series project tentatively titled The Grisham Universe.
Disney has been actively exploiting its gallery of classic villains in features (the Maleficent franchise) and in TV (the Descendants TV movie franchise).
Valentino’s book series launched in 2009 with Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen. Five books have been published so far with a sixth, The Odd Sisters: A Villains Novel, coming out this year.
There have been only a handful of Disney+ series confirmed so far, including a new High School Musical incarnation and a High Fidelity reimagening, along with Marvel and Star Wars shows.