Is The School for Good and Evil based on a book? Inspiration behind the Netflix teen fantasy film

What inspired the colourful and creative characters?

Sofia Wylie as Agatha and Sophia Anne Caruso as Sophie in The School For Good And Evil
(Image credit: Helen Sloan/Netflix/Future)

Who or what was the imagination behind the magical film with the compelling storyline, that has everyone talking?

In Netflix's The School for Good and Evil, best friends Sophie and Agatha think they have their lives planned. Their path to what they believe is their destiny is interrupted when they're taken to an elite training academy for future fairytale heroes and villains. Finding themselves in opposing sides - and what is completely the wrong side - of the school for their personalities, an epic battle ensues. The balance between good and evil must be protected, and the friends find themselves responsible for that balance being disrupted - while their friendship is tested to its limits. Viewers have been asking what The School for Good and Evil is based on, and we have the answer to this, and other burning questions about the film.

For The School for Good and Evil reviews (opens in new tab) and the date and time it can be viewed, look no further. For more thrilling fantasy drama on Netflix, The Midnight Club has everything you need. Viewers have been drawn into the compelling series, and asking will there be a season 2 (opens in new tab)? Mixing true-crime and supernatural fantasy, The Watcher true story (opens in new tab) is an unsettling read - the Netflix series is an equally spine tingling watch.

Is The School for Good and Evil based on a book?

Yes, The School for Good and Evil is based on a series of 6 books by Soman Chainani. The first novel in the series was published on May 14, 2013. 

The series is set in Endless Woods, with the original trilogy following best friends Sophie and Agatha as they attend the School for Good and Evil. The school is an elite academy for children to be trained as fairytale heroes or villains. The second trilogy is known as The Camelot Years, and follows Agatha and romantic interest King Tedros, as they build up to taking the role of Queen and King in the Kingdom of Camelot, while Sophie transforms Evil into a new image. The final book was released on June 2, 2020.

Author Soman Chainani is a filmmaker as well as an author, and was born and currently lives in the US. The first The School for Good and Evil novel was his debut book, and went straight to the New York Times Bestseller List, selling over 3 million copies. The remaining 5 novels in the series also rocketed to the New York Times Bestseller List upon release.

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, Book 1) by Soman Chainani £7.35 | Amazon (opens in new tab)

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, Book 1) by Soman Chainani £7.35 | Amazon (opens in new tab)

Read the first book in the series that inspired the major Netflix film The School for Good and Evil, starring Charlize Theron and Kerry Washington.

What order should I read The School for Good and Evil books?

  • The School for Good and Evil (2013)
  • The School for Good and Evil #2: A World Without Princes (2014)
  • The School for Good and Evil #3: The Last Ever After (2015)
  • The School for Good and Evil #4: Quests for Glory (2017)
  • The School for Good and Evil #5: A Crystal of Time (2019)
  • The School for Good and Evil #6: One True King (2020) 

Author Soman Chainani spoke to Alethea Magazine (opens in new tab) about his books being adapted for the screen. When asked if the movie would live up to the books, he said "I think the interesting thing about movies is that they are a completely different media. So everybody who reads the books has a different version in their head. I think that the job of a movie is to capture the spirit and still be faithful to the book. And this one absolutely is".

He continued "I don’t think a movie can ever replicate the experience of a book especially because if you think about how long it takes to read a book. We’re talking about 9 to 10 hours while a movie is only two hours. So even in terms of content, you’re only going to get a fifth of what the book contains. But this one is a beautiful adaptation and I think everyone is going to love it. However, the books and the movies are going to be two different things". 

Jamie Flatters as Tedros and Sofia Wylie as Agatha in The School For Good And Evil.

(Image credit: Helen Sloan/Netflix)

Who will play Agatha in The School for Good and Evil Movie?

Agatha will be played by 18-year-old Sofia Wylie. Wylie started her career in dance, and has been dancing since the age of 5. 

She has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance, and America's Got Talent. She has also toured with Justin Bieber and runs Dancing with Sofia Wylie, an IGTV educational series about dancing. Wylie’s first major acting role came in 2016 when she landed the role of Buffy Driscoll, in Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. Her film debut came in 2019 with the role of Cory Bailey in Australian film, Back of the Net

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Who will play Sophie in The School for Good and Evil movie?

In The School for Good and Evil, Sophie will be played by 21-year-old Sophia Anne Caruso. 

Between the years of 2013 - 2020, Caruso predominantly worked in theatre. She appeared in productions including Blackbird, Lazarus, and Beetlejuice. Also a singer, Caruso's debut single Toys was released in May 2020, followed by Snow & Ice in 2020. The role of Sophie in The School for Good and Evil is Caruso’s first film role, and biggest acting role to date.

How old are Sophie and Agatha in The School for Good and Evil?

Fans of the book series have worked out that Sophie and Agatha would be 15 in the first book of the series, therefore they’d be 15-years-old in the first film installment of The School for Good and Evil

This was never officially stated in book 1, but it was made clear the girls were 17 in book 3. Sophie’s mum passed away 5 years before she was kidnapped and taken to the School for Good and Evil in book 1, and her mum was still alive when she was 10. Therefore, she must’ve been 11 during an attempted kidnapping that took place 4 years prior to the first book because she was too young to be taken - only children under 12 can be taken. Therefore, if she was 12 at the time, she would've been taken and must’ve been 11. This proves she is 15 in book 1, and both girls are the same age. 

Jamie Flatters as Tedros and Sophia Anne Caruso as Sophie in The School For Good And Evil

(Image credit: Helen Sloan/Netflix)

Who is playing Tedros in The School for Good and Evil?

Tedros is played by 21-year-old London born actor Jamie Flatters. Flatters was 16 when he was offered the role of Neteyam in James Cameron’s Avatar sequels - Neteyam is the eldest son of Jake and Neytiri.  

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He told Screen Daily (opens in new tab) that he’d always wanted to act, saying “There’s a playfulness in all kids and I liked that as a child, feeding into fantasy.” 

He first performed in theatre before landing roles in CBBC’s So Awkward, and Channel 4’s Close To Me. The actor has co-written an undisclosed upcoming series, and said “I would love to follow Tilda Swinton’s career path, collaborating with a lot of new writer/directors. And I would love to be involved early when scripts are still in development.”

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