Imagine Kids & Family, the family-focused division of Imagine Entertainment, has won the rights to develop James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein’s “Max Einstein” books as an animated series, Variety has learned exclusively.
The series follows heroine Maxine Einstein (Max for short), a 12-year-old orphan genius living on the streets in New York City. While she doesn’t know if they’re for sure related, she often turns to her imagined ancestor Albert Einstein for advice. When a mysterious organization called the Change Makers Institute finds her, they recruit her to join their team of other young prodigies to solve some of the world’s toughest problems through science. While they all have their differences, they have to come together as a team if they’ll have any chance to defeat the evil endeavors of the Corporation.
Imagine Entertainment chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will executive produce along with Imagine Kids & Family president Stephanie Sperber, Patterson, James Patterson Entertainment president Bill Robinson, and Martin Cribbs and Dave Green of Max Einstein LLC.
“Max is a great character – brilliant, curious and confident – and determined to change the world for the better. The Patterson books take the readers on a globe-trotting adventure through the eyes of kids who may know a lot about science, but still have a lot to learn about life.” said Sperber. “We are honored to work with the Albert Einstein Archives and JPE to bring these stories to life through content for kids everywhere.”
The project marks the first ever children’s series featuring Albert Einstein to be authorized by the Albert Einstein Archives/Hebrew University of Jerusalem for adaptation. The first book in the “Max Einstein” series was published in October, with the next book set to be released later this year.
“We’ve found the perfect creative partner to develop a Max Einstein TV series,” said Cribbs. “The Albert Einstein Archives are very protective of Einstein’s legacy and are extremely selective when choosing our partners. Imagine Kids + Family with Brian, Ron, and Stephanie is the right home for Max.”
The kids and family division of Imagine was started in January. Variety exclusively reported in March that Imagine and Patterson had partnered to develop film and TV projects based on Patterson’s children’s books. Other properties the companies are said to be developing include the “House of Robots,” “Treasure Hunters,” and “Sophia, Princess Among Beasts” book series.
“’Max Einstein’ is one of the crown jewels in James Patterson’s library of children’s books and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Imagine to develop this property for kids and fans around the world,” said Robinson.