EXCLUSIVE: Folktellers: Excerpts from an Unknown Guidebook is getting the television treatment after Peter Mohan, exec producer of Hulu’s The Hardy Boys, teamed up with former Gaumont exec Vanessa Shapiro.
Mohan and Shapiro, via her nascent shingle Nicely Entertainment, are exec producing the adaptation of the YA fantasy book series and are developing an adaptation.
Mohan, who was also a writer and co-exec producer of BBC America’s Orphan Black, will also act as showrunner of the project if the series lands a network.
The pair will work with author Josef Bastian, founder of Folktellers LLC, and Scott Paskoff, who will also exec produce, to develop the eight-book story arc into a live-action series for kids ages 8–12 years old. The potential first season would be based on the first three books in the series, Phase of the Moon, Cave in the Rock, and Shadows on the Silver Strings.
The Excerpts from an Unknown Guidebook series tells the story of unassuming teenager, Aaron Anderson, who has his world turned upside down as he learns that his destiny is to become a Folkteller – a guardian and wielder of those essential stories that comprise the hopes, fears and potential of humanity across all dimensions. Aaron and a group of friends find themselves on a desperate mission to protect those stories from shadowy creatures whose goal is to snuff out all life and light wherever it might exist. And, along the way, Aaron will be forced to overcome his crippling lack of confidence and trust himself to use the primal power of these stories to fight back the darkness and bring order to the Universe.
“I’m thrilled to have gathered together this team of accomplished executives to bring Excerpts from an Unknown Guidebook to the screen,” said Josef Bastian. “The fantasy and folklore genres are extraordinarily popular because of their iconic characters, beautifully crafted worlds, and imperfect protagonists that offer a compelling balance between imagination and reality. Our series will deliver action and adventure as our heroes travel from dimension to dimension trying to stop the Shadows from carrying out their destructive plans, and will deliver humor, romance with the complicated interactions of our characters as they try to deal with growing up, saving their worlds, and staying alive at the same time.”
Mohan added, “I’m excited by the possibilities of telling stories set in the Folktellers franchise. This fantastical world offers opportunities to explore exciting adventures, engrossing characters and important universal themes. I look forward to working with the dynamic team that’s been assembled to bring this project to air.”
“Nicely Entertainment is thrilled to be part of such an amazing franchise and book series and I look forward to working closely with Josef, Peter and Scott to bringing this IP to a global audience,” said Vanessa Shapiro, CEO, Nicely Entertainment. “The adventure and moral complexity of Excerpts from an Unknown Guidebook offer a multi-generational appeal. Younger viewers will tune in for magic and adventure, while older teens and adults will be attracted to the complicated interplay between Aaron, his friends, and family.”