The Duff

Back in 2013, we reported that Mattel’s Monster High dolls had been optioned for a live-action tie-in film. Now, years later, Deadline reports that Universal Pictures has found a director for Monster High: Ari Sandel, who recently made his feature directorial debut with The Duff, which stars Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, and Robbie Amell. Sandel will once again tap into a high-school mindset to create the world of Monster High: The Mattel toy line became a billion-dollar franchise in 2010, and already includes animated movies, video games, and apps in addition to the toys.

If the film is anything like the actual toys, it will be bonkers. Seriously, these dolls are next-level bananas, surpassing even Bratz as Mattel’s most stylized and over-the-top dolls. Monster High will follow the children of famous monsters (!) as they come of age and have to deal with all their monster drama on top of typical teen drama. They all attend Monster High, a prep school for famous monster offspring. The characters will be named after the popular dolls, which include Draculaura, Frankie Stein, Amanita Nightshade, and Clawdeen Wolf. (Monsters, it seems, are very into giving their children pun-based names). The latest version of the script comes from Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, the creators behind Gossip Girl and The O.C., who also know a thing or two about high school.