Newcomer Izabela Rose and Siena Agudong (No Good Nick) are set to lead the ensemble cast for Upside-Down Magic, a new Disney Channel original movie based on The New York Times bestselling fantasy fiction children’s books of the same name. Vicki Lewis (Finding Nemo, Newsradio), Kyle Howard (My Boys), Elie Samouhi (Bizaardvark), Alison Fernandez (Once Upon a Time) and Max Torina (Raven’s Home) will also star in the movie which begins production today. It’s slated to premiere next summer.
With a teleplay by Nick Pustay (Ramona and Beezus) and Josh Cagan (Kim Possible), Upside-Down Magic is based on the Scholastic book series from bestselling authors Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. Disney Channel optioned the series for development in 2015.
The movie centers around 13-year-old Nory Boxwood Horace (Rose) who discovers that she can flux into animals, and her best friend, and Reina Carvajal (Agudong) who can manipulate flames, as they enter Sage Academy for magical studies. Reina’s ability to expertly harness the power of fire lands her at the top of her class of “Flares,” but Nory’s wonky magic and proclivity for turning into a “Dritten” – a half kitten, half dragon – lands her in a class for those with defective, Upside-Down Magic, otherwise known as UDM. While Headmaster Knightslinger (Lewis) believes the UDM’s defective powers leave them vulnerable to the dangerous and evil “shadow magic,” Nory and her group of misfits set out to prove that Upside-Down Magic beats right side up.
Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (Prince of Peoria), Elaine Kao (American Koko), Yasmeen Fletcher (Andi Mack), Amitai Marmorstein (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) and Callum Seagram Airlie (When Calls the Heart) will also star.
“We cannot wait for Disney Channel viewers to meet Nory, a funny, charismatic and optimistic heroine whose unwavering belief that her unusual talents, along with those of her wonky friends, are just as valuable as those of her peers,” said Lauren Kisilevsky, vice president, Original Movies, Disney Channels Worldwide. “At the heart of our story is Nory and Reina’s friendship, in which they help each other learn that what makes them different makes them special.”
Suzanne Farwell (The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give), Susan Cartsonis (Descendants 3, Aquamarine) of Resonate Entertainment will executive produce, along with Joe Nussbaum (Just Add Magic, Gabby Duran & The Unsittables), who also serves as director.