London-based independent producer Nevision has optioned a trilogy of children’s books penned by award-winning author M.G. Leonard for Beetle Boy, Beetle Queen and the recently released Battle of the Beetles. The deal was negotiated with Kirsty McLachlan of DGA.
Published by Chicken House in the UK and Scholastic in the US, Canada, and Australia, as well as more than thirty other territories including France, Germany, Italy, China and Russia, the books have become best-sellers globally and have won a raft of coveted accolades on both sides of the Atlantic.
Commenting on the deal, Nigel Pickard, former Director of Programmes at ITV and Controller of Children’s at the BBC and board member at Nevision said, “The Beetle trilogy is one of the most compelling and brilliant children’s book series currently on the market. Maya’s writing is fast-paced and filled to the brim with villains, heroes and adventures. It will make an epic on-screen experience which will appeal to both young viewers and their families.”
Nevision is developing a live-action adaptation of the trilogy for television with M.G. Leonard as the screenplay writer, Nigel Pickard as Executive Producer along with Ceri Barnes as Development Executive.
M.G. Leonard said, “Ever since I was little I’ve been frightened by Creepy Crawlies. Then I found out that beetles can be pretty, brightly coloured- even gold. Others are as strong as the Incredible Hulk. Some shoot acid out of their butts, and all beetles have wings! My fear had stopped me from seeing how fantastic beetles were, and so I decided to write an adventure with beetles as the good guys. I am thrilled to be now taking this to the next level, writing scripts that bring my characters to life for the small screen.”
Beetle Boy was published in Spring 2016, followed by Beetle Queen in 2017 and Battle of the Beetles in 2018. The trilogy begins with thirteen-year-old Darkus Cuttle’s search for his kidnapped father, leading him to discover a mountain of extraordinary beetles and pitting him against the mad-scientist of the fashion world Lucretia Cutter, an haute-couture villainess with an alarming interest in insects. These three critically acclaimed, darkly hilarious adventures are full of exotic beetles, daring schemes and true friendship.
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