On November 12, 2021 (Disney+ Day), it was officially announced that a new series based on bestselling children’s books The Spiderwick Chronicles was in development for the streamer. Now, we have our first update regarding the progress of the show.
A new casting call reveals that Paramount and 20th Century Television are looking to cast 11-15 year old twins to portray the lead characters of Jared and Simon Grace. This iteration will differ from the previous 2008 film adaptation where Freddie Highmore played against himself as both Jared and Simon. Another departure from previous versions will see these characters as multi-racial, which looks to be a new element in the story.
To be considered for the roles of Jared and Simon, actors will need to film a short video where both twins are present to discuss their name, age, height, city, grade, and hobbies.
This is an excited opportunity for aspiring young twin actors and fans of the series. To submit a self-tape, actors will need to email their video to email@example.com.
This series joins Percy Jackson, which is another beloved children’s book adaptation in active development for Disney+. Like that series, which sees author Rick Riordian as heavily involved, The Spiderwick Chronicles is including its authors in the process as well. According to the initial announcement in November, Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, who wrote and illustrated the books together, will serve as executive producers of the series. Both Black and DiTerlizza posted this casting announcement to their personal Twitter accounts on February 1.
The Spiderwick Chronicles were originally published in five installments between 2003 and 2004. The books made their way to the New York Times bestselling list alongside other children’s series of the time like Artemis Fowl and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Later, the two authors collaborated again on a spin-off series titled Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles. In 2008, a film adaptation was released by Paramount which sought to cover the events of the original five books. Like the film adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events, it followed a similar pattern of significantly condensing the story by including several books into one film. This upcoming adaptation for Disney+ will likely allow for more room for the story to breathe and the events to unfold in a more natural pace.
The Spiderwick Chronicles follows a set of twins who, along with their sister and mother, move into an old house in a new town. Before too long, they begin to notice strange and fantastical things happening around them and uncover a rich history involving the previous owner of the house, Arthur Spiderwick.