Magic School Bus Movie is Happening with Elizabeth Banks as Ms. Frizzle

The Magic School Bus will be making its next stop at a theater near you.

Scholastic Entertainment has partnered with Universal Pictures to turn the iconic children’s franchise into a movie for the first time. What’s more, Elizabeth Banks has been tapped to star as Ms. Frizzle, the teacher who takes her students on adventurous and unusual field trips.


This adaptation will be a blend of live-action and animation. Brownstone Productions and Marc Platt Productions are also teaming with Scholastic and Universal on the project. Elizabeth Banks, in addition to her starring role, will produce as well. Banks is known for her on-screen roles in movies such as The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect and Power Rangers, but has been getting a lot more involved behind the scenes as of late. Banks has directed Pitch Perfect 2 and the recent Charlie’s Angels reboot. Scholastic Entertainment president and chief strategy officer Iole Lucchese had this to say in a statement.

Elizabeth Banks will become the new Ms. Frizzle

“We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day. We’re also extremely excited to be working with such top-tier partners as Elizabeth Banks, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions, Universal Pictures, and all of the amazing talent assembled for this noteworthy feature film.”


No director is in place yet and there is no word on how soon production might begin. The Magic School Bus started life as a book series in 1986. It was later adapted into a popular animated series in 1994, which ran until 1997. The stories generally center on the eccentric elementary school teacher, Ms. Frizzle, and her class. They board her magical school bus, which allows them to take field trips to strange locations and times. Some examples include the Cretaceous Period, outer space and going inside the human body.

The Magic School Bus is hyped up after Netflix releasing a sequel series

More recently, Netflix released a sequel series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again, which debuted in 2017. To date, there are more than 80 million The Magic School Bus books in print. Though it was relatively short-lived, the animated series aired for 18 years in the U.S. and has been broadcast in more than 100 countries around the world. It’s easy to see why Scholastic and Universal see this as a viable property.


Scholastic has been making a big attempt to break into Hollywood as of late. It was also announced recently that they are producing an Animorphs live-action movie based on the popular series of 90s books. This has become more popular in recent years, as companies like Hasbro have taken an active role in developing its properties into movies and TV shows. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available.

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Author: Lawrence Lease

Lawrence Lease is a freelance writer and screenwriter. His work can be seen on Blasting News, Cinema Gold and The Washington Ledger.

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