Netflix’s new adaptation of The School For Good And Evil is about to take you to a fantastical world
Fantasy fans assemble: Netflix’s starry new film adaptation of The School For Good And Evil starring Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington is about to take you on a magical journey.
With House Of The Dragon and The Rings Of Power dominating our screens as two of the biggest TV shows of 2022, it’s clear that the fantasy renaissance has captured viewers’ imaginations right now.
Stemming from the tremendous ten-year success of Game Of Thrones and the culture-shifting legacy left by Lord Of The Rings, the fantasy genre has changed the scope of television and ignited a want from viewers for bigger worlds, more expansive backstories and complex character quests that they can really sink their teeth into.
But with both House Of The Dragon and The Rings Of Power emerging as prequels into extensive pre-existing franchises, first-time viewers to the genre might well be in want of a one-off fantasy hit. It’s with serendipitous timing, then, than Netflix is offering exactly that with the arrival of its starry new film The School For Good And Evil.
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Based on Soman Chainani’s 2013 novel of the same name, The School For Good And Evil is set in a fictional Hogwarts-esque institution, where the characters of Agatha (Sofia Wylie) and Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) find themselves thrown into the magical school where children are trained to take on the roles of either heroes or villains in fairy tales. A mystical mix-up means that the two girls end up on the wrong sides of the school, having to battle their way through what appears to be malicious schoolmates, untrustworthy teachers and coming to terms with what side of the storybook they really want to be on.
The School For Good And Evil boasts a gold-tier cast with the likes of Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, Kerry Washington and Laurence Fishburne. Sophia Anne Caruso will also be a familiar face to those who know her for originating the role of Lydia in the Broadway production of Beetlejuice, with Sofia Wylie graduating from High School Musical: The Musical – The Series.
Whilst this film may not have mighty dragons, ruthless families, or… orcs… the adaptation still looks to have masses of enchanting appeal, exploring themes of friendship, the question of fate and the complexities of good vs evil.
The trailer provides a captivating insight into the whimsical madness to be had. We see Agatha and Sophie being swept away to the school by a grim-looking bird-like creature and being introduced to the fold, where both girls are mistakenly placed onto entirely different sides of the school than expected.
There are also glimpses of Theron’s Lady Lesso, Washington’s Professor Dovey and Michelle Yeoh’s Professor Anemone amongst impressive sweeping shots of the school itself, seemingly split into two halves for the good and evil student body. Amongst the magic there is also chaos, with Sophie taken in by the evil side of the school, appearing tempted and subsequently caught up in the possibilities of just how good being bad can be. Agatha, meanwhile, is thrown onto the hero side, struggling to fit in with pompous princesses and trying to keep her best friend from succumbing to the evil altogether.
Spellbooks, poison apples, glass slippers… the trailer provides us with a glimpse into every fairy-tale trope you could hope to see with seemingly a dark and dangerous twist. Expect references to classic tales and legends galore.
The film is based on the bestselling book series by Soman Chainani, and takes its name from the first book, The School For Good And Evil, which was published in 2013. Paul Feig, despite initially being unsure about taking on a project with such a vast and intricate world, decided that he just couldn’t turn it down.
“It was only after I read the script that I started reading the books, and I fell in love with everything in them. They’re very dense books, very inventive and fun, like Alice In Wonderland,” he told EW.
With Fieg’s hit film Bridesmaids becoming a comedy staple in 2011, and his now cult-status creation Freaks And Geeks nailing the awkward world of teenagers, something tells us that we’re about to get a brilliantly mischievous spin on this new fantastical world. For once in our lives, we can’t wait to head back to school.
The School For Good And Evil is set to be released on Netflix on 19 October 2022.
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