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‘The School for Good and Evil’ Author Soman Chainani Is Hopeful for a Sequel

The author also tells TheWrap about the upcoming limited series adaptation of “Beasts and Beauty”

After Netflix released its adaptation of “The School for Good and Evil,” author of the bestselling book series Soman Chainani is hopeful a sequel film is possible, but he noted a decision likely won’t be made for some time.

“There’s no news either way. I think they wait until the 28 days are done,” Chainani told TheWrap during an interview in early November. “And then they start all their postmortems and stuff like that. So we’re not there yet, but the hope is that we could bring everyone back into Book Two because I think Book Two has the opportunity for even more big stars in it because we have a new villain and all kinds of insane stuff. And that second book is really a fan favorite in the series people book so I hope so, but the first movie was enormous with like every star in Hollywood. so get into putting that back together, getting that train up and going, is not easy.” 

In “The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes,” the second book of the six-part series, things pick right back up where they left off with the consequences of Agatha and Sophie’s decision to choose each other over Prince Tedros.

“We just rarely see a battle of the sexes onscreen that you commit so fully to and the idea that you can just have ‘Alright, the boys are pissed off, because the girls literally chose each other as friends over the prince so they really screwed with the rules of the fairytale world.’ So obviously the princes are going to try to like regain power,” Chainani said. “it’s sort of a metaphor, allegory for our political system. Princes are gonna regain power, and the girls are obviously going to go to their corners to try to defend what they think is is right, that Sophie and Agatha get happy ending. So it’s only natural that you’re gonna have the ultimate sort of battle of the sexes at that point.”

The first book in Chainani’s best-selling series is told from the perspective of two female protagonists. Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) dreams of living out her own fairytale while her best friend Agatha (Sofia Wylie) couldn’t care less about those children’s tales.

The themes of friendship, romantic love and gender disparities in emotional expression as well as battle become even more interwoven and nuanced in the second book of the series, but Chainani saved the male perspective for his prequel pair of books told from the point of view of the Twin Schoolmasters — “Rise of the School for Good and Evil” and “Fall of the School for Good and Evil.” Currently on tour for the film and “Rise,” Chainani will have “Fall” out in 2023 as an end to that universe. 

“I really enjoyed writing it because I wanted a completely different feel in ’The School for Good and Evil’ universe because for six books, our female perspective [is] almost kind of like Dickens in how complex and and also sort of Harry Potter-ish in just how many storylines and how it’s written and it it just has a very sort of rich feeling to it,” he said of the first six books compared to “Rise.” “I wanted to do more of a speed wrap of a book that was fast and from the perspective of two boys, and just an action thriller that exploded in your face. Totally different writing style in those two books, and also, I wanted to get more boy readers as well.”

The pair of prequels fleshes out the story of the Twin Schoolmasters, portrayed by Kit Young and Laurence Fishburne in the film. Chainani could see them becoming an animated television show.

I’d love to spin those off. Kit Young is doing the audio books for both. He did the audio book for ‘Rise’ and I’m hoping he’ll do the one for ‘Fall.’ And the ideal would be, an animated show or a live action sort of TV series or something where he can still play both brothers,” Chainani said. “He was fantastic in the movie, and I love it. I remember when I was writing it, I’m like ‘This would be perfect to do.’ So hopefully one day.”

After tour, Chainani will get to work on the pilot episode of the adaptation of his book, “Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales,” which contains adult-themed fairytales. Sony 3000 Pictures is set to adapt the collection of short stories into a limited series, and Chainani is keen on making the jump to director.

“I would love to direct an episode, but I think first things first, we want to make sure that it has the kind of scale and lushness and originality of that kind of like adult fairy tale show we’ve never seen before,” he said. “So getting the writing done in the right way and making it feel so unique and different and hard-hitting and cool so that adults and, not necessarily young young leaders, but like teenagers and stuff can really, really sort of commit to it. Enjoy it. I think that’ll be first priority. And then hopefully I can direct an episode at some point.”