An eight-episode adaptation of the best-selling children’s novel The Mysterious Benedict Society that was previously being developed as a Hulu original has found a new home on Disney Plus, Variety reports. This is allegedly the inaugural instance of a Hulu project being transferred to another premium streaming platform owned by the Disney corporation, although the inverse has occurred a couple times, according to Variety. Hulu’s short-lived re-imagining of High Fidelity and the teen romance series Love, Victor reportedly originated as Disney Plus projects, Variety reports.
The children’s mystery-adventure novel on which Disney Plus’s The Mysterious Benedict Society is based tells the story of four intelligent orphans who are recruited by Mr. Nicholas Benedict to go undercover at an elite boarding school run by Mr. Curtain, a nefarious villain hell-bent on pursuing global domination via mind control, according to All Things Considered.
Author Trenton Lee Stewart (The Secret Keepers) told All Things Considered that the concept for the book grew out of his confidence in the problem-solving capabilities of children: “The first [idea] was an image of a child… taking an incredibly difficult test that was more than it appeared to be. I knew there was a secret to the test… It sort of led to the notion that the [kids] were being recruited for a difficult mission that only children could accomplish.” In a 2011 interview on the blog 12 Books In 12 Months, Stewart stated that he was open to adapting the series: “I do think the books contain elements that could lend themselves well to film… In the meantime they persist as books, which is gratifying enough, as books are my first love.”
The show is the creation of frequent collaborators Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Ride Along, Destroyer), although the source material was brought to their attention by executive producers Jamie Tarses (The Mayor, Happy Endings) and Karen Kehela Sherwood (A Beautiful Mind, The Cat in the Hat), as reported by Variety. Hay and Manfredi confirmed the involvement of Disney Plus via their individual Twitter accounts.
Some great news about our show, THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY.
We’ll be on Disney +! https://t.co/Gqa91SI4EA
— Phil Hay (@phillycarly) November 13, 2020
— Matt Manfredi (@MattRManfredi) November 13, 2020
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages, the fourth book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series, was published in August and can be purchased via most major book retailers. Those looking to read the complete series before the show debuts on Disney Plus in 2021 can purchase all four books, plus prequel novel The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, as a paperback box set as of October 13.