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INTERVIEW: Paul Feig and Soman Chainani Express Their Joy Over ‘The School for Good and Evil’ Coming to Life

Featuring Feig geeking out over my Ghostbusters shirt

CHARLIZE THERON as LADY LESSO, KERRY WASHINGTON as PROFESSOR DOVEY

A Paul Feig movie is always a fun time and as very vocal lovers of his film Ghostbusters: Answer the Call, it was a dream to talk to Feig about his latest film! The Netflix film The School for Good and Evil brings us a wonderfully bright and fun world of witches and princesses and highlights the problems with thinking things are just simple labels and we get to see the world of myths built into magic and more and it’s such a fun time.

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It is another very distinctly Paul Feig production and so when I got to speak with him in preparation for the film’s release, I asked about the creative input he had to the design of everything in the film. And Feig was happy to talk about how much he got to build the world and how it looked and how he loved

“It was getting to build this world from the ground up,” Feig said. “To design this world from scratch because I’ve never gotten to do that before. All my movies take place in the real world and, like Ghostbusters, we put supernatural elements on top of it. But I’ve never been able to go ‘Here’s the world, here’s what it looks like, here’s how people dress in this world’ so that was really a thrill. And then to be able to deal with magic on top of it and the witches? I have a personal love of the witches of room 66, I think they deserve their own spin-off personally. But it’s fun, I was like a kid in the candy store, it was a blast.”

You can see our full interview with director Paul Feig here:

Hopefully more fans go back to the books

The School For Good and Evil is a book series that started in 2013 and while I didn’t read them as they were being released, this movie has definitely made it so I’m going back to read Chainani’s full series because it is such a rich world that plays with myths and legends that exist within our own world as well.

So I asked him about his use of myths and how they inspired him within the story he was creating. “I think it’s because I grew up empathizing with the villains more than the heroes in the Disney stories,” Chainani said. “I watched so many Disney movies and I always thought the villains got short tripped because they always died at the end. And I thought to myself ‘well, sometimes they have to win and you can’t always have the good guy win’ and I think that started to get me thinking about how we all think we’re on the good side of the world and therefore anyone who is in our way, anyone who is in our way whose an obstacle must be destroyed and is evil. And that’s not what life is. We’re constantly doing evil things every day and good things and we’re sort of in between and I wanted to create a story where there was so much more balance.”

We also spoke a bit about how this movie is a perfect jumping off point for those who haven’t yet read the books because it is a great introduction to these characters and should inspire you to go back and read more. You can see our full interview with author Soman Chainani here:

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The School for Good and Evil hits Netflix today and don’t miss this wonderful new addition to Feig’s impressive catalog!

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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