James Patterson ‘Maximum Ride’ YA Books to Become YouTube Miniseries

maximum ride

Collective Digital Studio lands exclusive online rights to best-selling fantasy series

Collective Digital Studio has landed exclusive online rights for “Maximum Ride,” the best-selling young adult fantasy franchise from James Patterson, with plans to produce a YouTube miniseries based on the series.

The eight-book “Maximum Ride” series, which has sold more than 30 million copies, centers on six kids who have been genetically modified to be 98% human and 2% bird — giving them wings and the power of flight. Storyline follows the group, led by 14-year-old girl Maximum “Max” Ride, after they escape from the lab facility known as The School and are pursued by their former captors.

Columbia Pictures acquired film rights to “Maximum Ride” in 2008, before the project moved to Universal Pictures. However, a Universal rep said “Maximum Ride” is no longer in development at the studio.

With the film project in limbo, CDS and Patterson are aiming for a faster time-to-market with the YouTube series — hoping to tap into the zeitgeist that have boosted other YA properties like “The Hunger Games” and “The Fault in Our Stars,” while catering to youth-skewing online audiences.

“‘Maximum Ride’ has a massive global fan base and it is very exciting to think about connecting with them online,” Patterson said in a statement. I’m confident that CDS will help introduce the book series to a completely new audience as well.”

“The beauty of YouTube is that fans won’t have to wait forever as we won’t be bogged down by the typical studio development process,” said Gary Binkow, CDS partner and chief content officer. The demand to bring Max and her flock to life as a web series “is something her fans have been asking for, evidenced by the hundreds of fan-made videos already online.”

Among Patterson’s other projects, last week CBS announced a straight-to-series order for “Zoo” based on his sci-fi thriller slated for summer 2015.

Binkow said CDS is in discussions with YouTube talent, including writers, directors and actors, to participate in the “Maximum Ride” series. Exec producers will be Patterson, Binkow, Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson.

“This is a way to engage the audience, and promote the book,” which is published by Little, Brown & Co., Binkow said. “We’re not looking to bring (traditional) Hollywood talent and filmmakers into this ecosystem.”

CDS also is in the process of determining which partner channel on YouTube will be the outlet for “Maximum Ride.” The studio has not yet set a budget for the “Maximum Ride” series. But Binkow said the studio would embrace the YouTube filmmaking aesthetic — not only to keep costs down, he said, but to conform to the style YouTube audience expects.

As an example, Binkow cited YouTube clip Superman With a GoPro, which uses aerial photography to simulate the Man of Steel’s flight. “I showed that to James Patterson — he thought that was great,” he said.

L.A.-based CDS, formed in 2011, operates 690 YouTube channels, which it says deliver more than 700 million views per month. In addition, the company has produced TV shows based on YouTube properties for The Annoying Orange, Epic Meal Time and Lucas Cruikshank’s Fred.

Patterson is repped by CAA.

SEE ALSO: YouTube MCN Collective Digital Studio Lands ProSieben Investment

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  1. Jadyn says:

    I can NOT wait till these books turn in to movies and “fly” to the theaters for my eyes and my imagination “soar” along the flockand I know others will be just as happy, overwhelmed, and exited as I am

  2. Erica says:

    OMGGGGGG YASSSSSSS FINALLY….I HAVE READ THIS SERIES SO MANY TIMES THAT I HAVE WANTED A MOVIE SINCE THE FIRST BOOK CAME OUT I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!

  3. Shae says:

    I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

    If you need a Max, there is a wonderful girl on Youtube that has ton plenty of random Max scene. She would be perfect! Her name is Piera Forde and she a wonderful actress that portrays Max as I see her!!!!
    I can’t wait for this to happen!!!!! =]

  4. Kenci says:

    Finally! You don’t understand how long I’ve been waiting for it to come to life! I started reading these in 7th grade and now I’m a sophomore in college so it’s been a long wait! I’m so excited!

  5. Tom Di Roma says:

    It’s about time they’re going to do something film-wise with Maximum Ride, especially now that they have the technology to make the wings look absolutely real. I bet when it finally happens the studios that passed on it are going to cry in their cerial. Why? Because there were at least 12 publishers that cried in their cereal when Harry Potter went on to do what it did.

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