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Nightbooks - What We Know So Far

Earlier this year, Netflix made a whopper of an announcement when the streaming giant revealed to the world they planned to release one new original movie every single week in 2021. For movie fans who had been starved of fresh content just a year earlier, it was exciting news because it meant that Netflix would be releasing more than 50 original movies that would slot into a variety of genres and appeal to a broad range of subscribers. 

One of the movies included in this hefty Netflix line-up is the upcoming, kid-friendly original "Nightbooks." The project was first announced back in June 2019 when Deadline revealed that "Five Feet Apart" writing duo Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis would pen the "Nightbooks" movie adaptation. Over a year later, we learned that David Yarovesky, the director behind the dark superhero tale "Brightburn," would helm the upcoming film. And, as confirmation that "Nightbooks" will be a bona fide horror movie, Sam Raimi (aka the fella behind the "Evil Dead" franchise), is credited as one of the producers (via IMDb). 

Here's what else we know thus far about Netflix's upcoming adaptation of "Nightbooks."

What is the release date of Nightbooks?

A release date has yet to be announced for "Nightbooks," but we do know that Netflix plans to release the original movie in 2021 (via Variety). While we may not have an exact release date for the movie, we can make a fairly knowledgeable guess about when exactly it will be available to stream. The genre will lean toward horror, albeit a more kid-friendly spookfest. Given this, it's likely the Netflix adaptation of "Nightbooks" will be released sometime in October. 

Netflix typically announces the release date for an original movie or television show when they drop a trailer for the title in question and, generally speaking, trailers arrive about a month in advance of a new movie or TV show hitting the platform. With this in mind, we likely won't see a trailer until September if Netflix is planning to release "Nightbooks" in October. Similarly, if the film is expected to arrive in November, then we'd probably see a trailer confirming the release date in October.

Who is in the Nightbooks cast?

In October 2020, Deadline revealed the three stars of "Nightbooks": Winslow Fegley, Krysten Ritter, and Lidya Jewett. As the movie's lead, Fegley will play Alex, a boy who has been trapped by a witch and must tell her stories to stay alive. Fegley's star is on the rise, with his breakout role arriving in the heartwarming Disney movie "Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made" as the titular Timmy, an extremely precocious boy. He's also no stranger to horror, having appeared in a supporting role in the spine-tingling feature "Come Play." In addition to "Nightbooks," Fegley will also be seen in the upcoming holiday feature "8-Bit Christmas," co-starring June Diane Raphael, Neil Patrick Harris, and Steve Zahn (via IMDb).

Ritter will tackle the antagonist role. She is set to play Natacha, the evil witch who has trapped Alex in her apartment in New York City. (Curiously, Ritter's character name has not been listed on the "Nightbooks" IMDb, but it's unclear why it would be omitted since her role has been announced.) If you take one look at Ritter's resumé, you'll immediately see she's the perfect actress to tackle a character like an evil witch, mainly because she's played spiky, complicated characters before. Audiences will likely recognize her from her lead performance in Netflix's short-lived Marvel series "Jessica Jones" or the equally short-lived ABC comedy "Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23."

Rounding out the lead cast is Lidya Jewett, who will play Yasmin. In "Nightbooks," Jasmin is another young child who is also stuck with Alex in the evil witch's apartment. Like Fegley, Jewett is a young star who is quickly gaining notoriety thanks to supporting roles in NBC's "Good Girls," ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," and the feature film "Hidden Figures."

What is the plot of Nightbooks?

As previously mentioned, Netflix's "Nightbooks" will be adapted from novelist J.A. White's 2018 YA book of the same name. As detailed on White's official site, the plot of "Nightbooks" goes like this: "Alex's original hair-raising tales are the only thing keeping the witch Natacha happy, but soon he'll run out of pages to read from and be trapped forever. He's loved scary stories his whole life, and he knows most don't have a happily ever after. Now that Alex is trapped in a true terrifying tale, he's desperate for a different ending—and a way out of this twisted place."

The "Nightbooks" description on White's site also mentions that this novel is a "modern spin on the Scheherazade story," which adds further intrigue. In Middle Eastern literature, Scheherazade is a character in "One Thousand and One Nights" who is remembered because she spent 1,001 nights telling her new husband gripping story after gripping story in an effort to keep him from killing her (via NPR). Seeing Scheherazade's tale take a new form through Alex and his dark story will no doubt make for an interesting entry point for younger audiences. It will also be interesting to see how the Netflix movie takes what is a potentially very scary situation for a child and translate it into a big-screen adventure that is palatable for families watching from the comfort of their own home.

We'll keep you updated as new details about "Nightbooks," including the release date and trailer premiere, emerge.