Life has come full circle for Soman Chainani, who wanted to be a filmmaker, became a bestselling author instead, and now has a major Netflix movie based on his first novel.
The School for Good and Evil will be premiered on Netflix on October 19. The fantasy adventure, directed by Paul Feig, is about two friends who are kidnapped by a magician. The A-list cast includes Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Kerry Washington, Laurence Fishburne and Ben Kingsley.
Chainani’s novel, which was followed by five sequels, is the story “of a friendship between a girl who thinks she is beautiful and one who thinks of herself as ugly and the dynamic between them”, he told Scroll.in in an interview from his home in New York City. While many fairy tales revolve around helpless heroines saved by brave princes, Chainani wondered if he could subvert the narrative.
“I decided to have a girl who knows she is beautiful and she wants a prince,” he said. “She wants the happy ending because she looks like a Disney princess and deserves it. Whereas in the original fairy tales girls cannot own their power, but the men can. If you are a woman who owns her own power, then you are the witch….