Swords, castles, and belly dancers! For the followup to the stirring fantasy tale The School for Good and Evil, we have a cinematic trailer to go with it. Not surprising, since the author Soman Chainani has a background in filmmaking. As you wait for A World without Princes, coming in April, check out the exclusive clip and a short Q&A with Chainani about the upcoming book, the possible film version of the first novel, and what went into making the trailer.

What do you like most about the trailer for Book 2?

SOMAN CHAINANI: I’m lucky enough to work with two incomparable animators and motion graphics designers — Manny Palad and Michael Blank. Their first animated trailer for The School for Good and Evil was so successful that I didn’t know how they could possibly top it. But what they do so well is to capture the feel of these books, even if it required them building a live-action green screen to do it. For A World Without Princes, they wanted to hone in on the story’s edginess, its intensity, and most of all, its ability to get under your skin.

Universal nabbed the rights for the movie version and you’re writing it. What can you tell us about the process so far?

I just finished writing the script with Malia Scotch Marmo, who wrote Steven Spielberg’s Hook. 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, the upcoming Maleficent, and Tuck Everlasting. I know it’s a priority project for Universal, and they’ve been deeply thoughtful in protecting the spirit of the books and the series’ loyal readers all over the world. I don’t think it’ll be long before we see a spectacular adaptation in theaters.

The story for Book 2 has been kept under tight wraps because of the cliffhanger at the end of Book 1. What can you tell us about Book 2?

It’s a darker, more emotional and more ferocious experience than Book 1. But that isn’t surprising, since instead of the schools warring as Good versus Evil, this time its Boys versus Girls. Only as we learned in Book 1, sides are never all that clear in this world… It’s a battle of the sexes like you’ve never imagined.