The sequel to Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil doesn’t hit shelves until April 15, but we’ve got an exclusive first look at the cover of A World Without Princes today. Take a look at the snazzy new art, and then read on for our chat with Chainani about his series, the movie adaptation, and what you can expect from his much-anticipated sequel.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What do you like most about the cover for A World Without Princes?
SOMAN CHAINANI: Iacopo Bruno, the illustrator for the series, is a genius. For the second book, I truly felt like he had to endure the most pressure of all, given how popular the first cover has been. But he’s topped himself with the cover for [book 2]. The sequel is a wild creature, and he’s captured that untamed spirit, while keeping focus on the characters…. It’s also readers’ first look at Tedros, Prince of Camelot, who could not be more fitting. He’s hunky, smoldering, and just a little bit…lost.
Universal nabbed the rights for the movie version. When you first started the series, did you ever think that a movie might be a possible outcome?
I think most authors harbor close fantasies of their book making it to the screen—particularly since I come from the world of film as a screenwriter and director. That said, even a fantasist like me couldn’t have imagined the way it turned out. We have the dream team of Joe Roth, Palak Patel, and Jane Startz producing, who when combined have been responsible for Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, Ella Enchanted, and Tuck Everlasting. We have Universal, who knows better than anyone how to make epic films with female leads. And I’m currently writing the script with Malia Scotch-Marmo, who wrote Steven Spielberg’s Hook. So it should be a truly spectacular film when it’s all said and done. But a lot of work ahead.
Now that a movie version is in the works, who would you dream cast to play Sophie and Agatha?
I get emails every day from readers asking where auditions will be. One girl wanting to be Sophie even threatened to drive to my apartment with her hair dyed blond if I didn’t respond in a timely manner. So I’d hate to quash any of these ambitions.
That said, the film will be a very different animal than the book. Part of the privilege of getting to write it is that I’ll enable fans to experience the world in a brand new way. No one wants a pure translation of the book, scene for scene. Besides its impracticality, readers’ imaginations already have done that much better than we ever could.
We’ve seen Agatha and Sophie show both good and bad sides. How will that continue to play out in A World Without Princes?
For a while, I know there’s been a fair bit of debate online over whether Agatha and Sophie would even be in the sequel. After all, the end of book 1 should have been their happy ending. But questions remain: What is Agatha thinking, knowing what she gave up? And what is Sophie thinking, knowing what she’s done? The delicious part of book 2 is that neither girl can really share their answers with the other without opening up old wounds.
What else can you tease about book 2?
It is very different from book 1. It’s part of the reason I’m so excited to share the cover. Already, readers will sense that this is a darker, fiercer world. And the boys have a greater role this time, given Tedros’ appearance. The ending to the first book certainly stirred up a bit of a storm. I can also assure the second book will have its share of controversy. More than its share.