Harry Potter franchise alum Jason Isaacs will be joining Vanessa Redgrave and Freida Pinto in The Boy at the Back of the Class, the family feature based on the bestselling children’s book written by Onjali Q. Rauf. Stephen Herek (101 Dalmatians, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) is directing.
The story kicks off when a mysterious new boy called Ahmet enrolls at nine-year-old Alexa’s school and the two become friends. As Alexa learns that he is a refugee, separated from his family, she will do anything she can to help. With the grown-ups out of the way, Alexa and her school friends come up with a daring plan to reunite Ahmet with his family – marking the start of an extraordinary adventure that will take them all the way to Buckingham Palace.
The Boy at the Back of the Class has sold over a half a million copies in the UK. It was first published in 2018, and has won multiple awards. They include the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and the Janusz Korczak Prize in France.
The project is set to go into production later this year. WestEnd Films is handling worldwide sales which it will launch in Cannes next week. Gersh is co-repping North American rights.
The screenplay is written by A Street Cat Named Bob scribe Tim John. Adam Rolston and David Braithwaite at Studio Pictures are producing. Nicola Pearcey of Picnik Entertainment and Paul Grindey are executive producing. Casting Director is BAFTA nominee Carolyn McLeod.