The filmmaker behind Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class has set his sights on a new tale of adolescent angst and otherworldly power. Matthew Vaughn’s MARV Films has picked up the film rights to ghostgirl, the globally popular series of YA novels by Tonya Hurley.
The books focus on Charlotte Usher, a teenage girl whose fears of being unseen become a reality when she dies in embarrassing manner – choking on gummy bears. But her misfit spirit continues to haunt an afterlife version of high school as she yearns for her living, breathing crush while contending with an unholy host of spectral classmates and instructors.
The book, which became a New York Times bestseller, was acquired by Vaughn and producing partner Valerie Van Galder. “Five years ago I spotted ghostgirl on a shelf and I was immediately drawn to everything about it,” Van Galder said. “Tonya Hurley and I formed an instant kinship as both relate to outsiders and are immensely grateful we did not peak in high school.”
Hurley has written five books in the series – including a Christmas tale and the Spanish-language installment “Dia de Muertos” — since the first one debuted in 2008. The books have been published in 20 languages and nearly 30 countries, and in Latin America ghostgirl has sold more than 1 million copies.
“I am beyond thrilled to have ghostgirl in the hands of such creative, capable and passionate filmmakers,” said Hurley. “I’m a raging Matthew Vaughn fan and I look forward to working with him, Val, and the whole team at MARV. To see Charlotte Usher come to life is a dream come true for me and for all the devoted ghostgirl fans around the world.”
Van Galder and Vaughn’s relationship dates back to the 2000 Guy Ritchie film Snatch, which Vaughn produced and Van Galder brought to the Screen Gems label. It’s not clear whether Vaughn will direct the ghostgirl project, although at this early stage it’s too soon to tell.