Elizabeth Banks to Star in Live-Action ‘The Magic School Bus’ Movie

A live-action movie adaptation of much-loved books and ’90s animated series The Magic School Bus is on the way.

Elizabeth Banks has boarded the bus as both star and producer of the film, which is being described as a “live-action hybrid.” Banks will be taking on the role of Ms. Frizzle, the intrepid teacher who takes her class on an incredible field trip, travelling on a yellow school bus that can magically turn into to a different form of transport – from submarine, to plane, to spaceship – depending on what science they’re exploring.

The edutainment media franchise that is The Magic School Bus began as Scholastic books first published in 1986. Over 80 million books are in print. A TV animated series adaptation began in 1994, airing for a whopping 18 years in the U.S. and across the world, becoming the longest-running science series for children ever. Lily Tomlin voiced Ms. Frizzle in the original series and SNL alum Kate McKinnon voiced her sister, Fiona, in Netflix’s sequel series, The Magic School Bus Rides Again.

“We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day,” Scholastic Entertainment’s Iole Lucchese, who’s also on the producing team, said in a statement.

“We’re also extremely excited to be working with such top-tier partners as Elizabeth Banks, Marc Platt Productions, Brownstone Productions, Universal Pictures, and all of the amazing talent assembled for this noteworthy feature film.”

Stay tuned for more on this one. No director or other stars have yet been announced.

Sony Pictures Entertainment


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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.