Warner Bros. has acquired the film rights to The Beast and Bethany by debut author Jack Meggitt-Phillips, with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman.
The mischievously macabre middle-grade debut, described as Lemony Snicket meets Despicable Me, is a riotously funny, dreadfully Dahl-esque tale of greed, vanity and a girl who doesn’t know she’s about to be eaten. The series was acquired in the UK by Egmont in a six-figure pre-empt and was the book of the Frankfurt Book Fair, with the first book publishing in September 2020, with twenty-two territories sold so far including Simon & Schuster for the US.
The film rights were acquired by Warner Bros. from Mady Niel at 42 and Rachel Mann at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency. David Heyman’s Heyday Films is attached to the project. Heyday and Warner Bros. have a long collaborative relationship dating back to the multi-billion-dollar Harry Potter franchise, family hit Paddington Bear and the Oscar-winning Gravity. Heyman is currently in pre-production on the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series.
Jack Meggitt-Phillips said: “Fantastic Beasts, Peruvian Bears, bespectacled wand holders – Heyday’s dedication to telling the stories of extraordinary characters is . . . well, truly extraordinary. The beast and I couldn’t hope for better partners in Heyday Films and Warner Bros., in our quest to delight and terrify as many children as possible.”
Rachel Mann said: “Jack Meggitt-Phillips’ truly stupendous storytelling meant it was only a matter of time before we found a big film deal for The Beast and The Bethany, and we’re thrilled that David Heyman and his team, along with Warner Bros., were so intentional and visionary in securing these rights. Mady, Jack and I look forward to working with them to bring this hilarious adventure to screens worldwide.”
The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips publishes Autumn 2020 in paperback,
£6.99, for beasts of 8-12