'The Grimm Legacy': Disney+ Has Its Eye On A YA Fantasy Franchise

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Disney already has Marvel, Star Wars, and a bunch of other in-house content brewing for their upcoming streaming service Disney+, but they've also set their sights on a young adult fantasy book series in the hopes of turning it into a full-fledged franchise. The company has hired David Gleeson, the writer of the upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien biopic, to write the screenplay for a feature adaptation of author Polly Shulman's YA novel The Grimm Legacy. Read all about it below.

Deadline says Disney+ is looking at this as a possible franchise starter, and from the sound of it, this could be a solid fit for the streaming service. Here's the description of the book from Amazon:

Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository – a lending library of objects, contemporary and historical, common and obscure. And secret, too – for in the repository's basement lies the Grimm Collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brother's fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear. And before she knows it, she and her fellow pages – handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron – are suddenly caught up in an exciting, and dangerous, magical adventure.

Gleeson, an Irish filmmaker who's written movies like Don't Go and Cowboys & Angels, is about to have his most high-profile credit with Tolkien later this year. Right now he's just attached to write The Grimm Legacy, and no director has been set yet. Jane Goldenring, who executive produced several Disney Channel original movies (including Zapped, starring Zendaya), will produce this adaptation.

The book series consists of three books so far – The Grimm Legacy, The Wells Bequest, and The Poe Estate – and reading their descriptions, each book seems to feature an entirely new set of characters. The link between the stories is the setting: the New York Circulating Material Repository, a magical library that lends out objects instead of books and contains all manner of spectacular items from various works of fiction.

This seems like an especially smart play for Disney+, because if the setting of the story is the true star, the company won't ever find themselves in a Robert Downey Jr. situation where they're forced to pay an actor a huge payday to stay involved with their burgeoning franchise. They can wipe the slate clean every time, bring in a new cast, and keep this thing going for years.