“The Magic School Bus,” based on the Scholastic book series by author Joanna Cole, was a popular animated TV show in the 1990s. The educational series follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as the go on field trips in their yellow school bus that transforms into a plane, submarine, spaceship or surfboard.
In addition to starring, Banks will also produce the film with Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions, as well as Scholastic Entertainment’s president and chief strategy officer Iole Lucchese and senior VP and general manager Caitlin Friedman, and Marc Platt and Adam Siegel for Marc Platt Productions. Alison Small will serve as executive producer for Brownstone Productions.
“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,” Lucchese said in a statement.
Ryan Christians from Marc Platt Productions will oversee production with Sara Scott and Lexi Barta from Universal Pictures.
Lily Tomlin voiced Ms. Frizzle in the PBS animated TV series, which aired for 18 consecutive years in the U.S. and has been broadcast in more than 100 countries. An animated sequel to the original series, “The Magic School Bus Rides Again,” featuring Kate McKinnon as Ms. Frizzle’s sister, Fiona, debuted on Netflix in 2017.
Banks has strong ties to Universal after directing “Pitch Perfect 2” and is set to helm and star in an “Invisible Woman” remake for the studio. She most recently directed a “Charlie’s Angels” reboot for Sony.