Independent film and television studio MRC has acquired film television, and live stage rights for the children's book series Eloise, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight. MRC plans to work with series publisher Simon & Schuster, Handmade Films, Knight, and the Thompson estate to develop the books into several new projects across multiple mediums.
Introduced in 1955, the Eloise series centers on its six-year-old title character, a self-assured young girl living in New York's Plaza hotel with a British nurse, a dog, and a turtle. It has been said that Eloise may have been inspired by Liza Minnelli, who was Thompson's goddaughter.
The book series saw Eloise travel to Paris and Moscow, and ultimately spawned two made-for-TV movies in 2003 and an animated series in 2006. Two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters narrated audio editions of three Eloise books in 2015.
“We are honored to be entrusted with bringing Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight’s beloved Eloise to life for a new generation of children, as well as all her ardent admirers throughout the years,” says MRC Film Co-Presidents Brye Adler and Jonathan Golfman, and MRC Television President Elise Henderson. “We are thrilled to be once again partnering with Handmade and cannot wait to see what mishaps and adventures Eloise gets herself into.”
“Eloise is a beloved, multi-generational little girl who has had over 60 years of great fun and adventures,” adds Handmade Films’ Trudi Francis. “We are very proud to have been involved with Eloise since 2003, working with the late Kay Thompson’s family, Hilary, the team at Simon & Schuster and Stephen Miller at The Plaza Hotel. We have always ensured we respect the fond memories of existing fans, and now look forward to introducing her to a whole new generation, with our friends at MRC, with whom we are delighted to be working with again on a project very dear to us.”