“You know why I cast her in this”: The Spiderwick Chronicles Added This Original Character, Fans Who’re Already Furious Must Know Why

The show stars Christian Slater, Alvyia Alyn Lind, and Jack Dylan Grazer in lead roles.

"You know why I cast her in this": The Spiderwick Chronicles Added This Original Character, Fans Who're Already Furious Must Know Why

SUMMARY

  • The iconic children's fantasy novel series The Spiderwick Chronicles has received its TV adaptation.
  • Developed by Aron Eli Coleite and authors Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, the show reportedly introduces a new character that is original.
  • Showrunner Coleite mentioned that they had a very specific reason to create the original character and it was related to Christian Slater's Mulgarath.
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The iconic child-fantasy novel series The Spideriwick Chronicles received a TV adaptation on the Roku Channel. The fantasy series is created by showrunner Aron Eli Coleite, who is known for working on the shows Locke & Key and Daybreak, both Netflix shows. Authors of the novel series, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black are also part of the development process.

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Joining the show is Coleite’s Daybreak star Alyvia Alyn Lind as Calliope, an original character that was not present in the novel series. Before fans take up arms for messing with the source material, the showrunner explained why he and authors DiTerlizzi and Black chose to create a new character for the show.

Why Did Roku’s The Spiderwick Chronicles Create An Original Character?

A still from The Spiderwick Chronicles
A still from The Spiderwick Chronicles

The children’s fantasy novel series The Spiderwick Chronicles has already received one cinematic adaptation. The film version of the series produced by Nickelodeon received positive responses upon release, especially for a young Freddie Highmore’s performance as the Grace twins. The film was also a moderate success at the box office, earning $168 million.

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A new series based on the novels began development in Disney Plus, with Aron Eli Coleite set to showrun the project. However, the show was dropped by Disney Plus after filming was complete as the company was reportedly going through a cost-cutting program. After being shopped around for a while, the series finally found its new home at Roku (via Deadline).

The series was developed by the novels’ authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black along with Coleite. While the show has reportedly remained largely faithful to the source material due to the involvement of the original creators, the crew reportedly had to create one original character for the show, which was Alyvia Alyn Lind as Calliope.

Christian Slater in The Spiderwick Chronicles
Christian Slater in The Spiderwick Chronicles

Aron Eli Coleite mentioned why the crew chose to do this and emphasized the importance of it. He said to Reactor Magazine,

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“I mean, Alyvia is amazing. And if you ever watched Daybreak, you know why I cast her in this…we know our Mulgarath had to be quite different than in the books or the movie because we needed to make sure it wasn’t an onslaught on the Spiderwick estate…And he needed somebody to talk to, he needed this sidekick. And so in creating a sidekick, Calliope immediately came to mind just as a moody teenage kid who could also work her way inside the Grace family.”

He mentioned that because Mulgarath, who is played by Christian Slater, was not a ‘brute force’ ogre but a manipulative one, he needed a sidekick to do his bidding and also to help him with his devious plans.

Authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black Made Calliope An Obscure Creature

Alyvia Alyn Lind in The Spiderwick Chronicles
Alyvia Alyn Lind in The Spiderwick Chronicles

While the crew of The Spiderwick Chronicles agreed to create an original sidekick for the ogre Mulgarath, creator Aron Eli Coleite and authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black were not initially in agreement on what kind of creature Calliope would be. Coleite mentioned to Reactor magazine that he initially pitched the idea of making her a goblin, which was immediately rejected by the authors.

“Initially I was like, ‘Oh, she’s a goblin-like, like the Redcap in the book and in the movie. Let’s make her a Redcap.’ And Tony and Holly were like, ‘No! She can’t be a goblin—goblins are little creatures. They’re smaller. They’re fiercer. They’re more like really angry dogs. And that’s not what this character is.’”

Holly Black reportedly pitched the idea of making Calliope a ‘Fetch’, who was a ‘portent of Death’. Coleite explained that a ‘Fetch’ was a creature who could see death on a person or could predict death and hence, could take on the appearance of a dead person or someone who was about to die. The showrunner mentioned that it was the perfect fit for the character.

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“She can use glamour spells, but she’s also the emo kid because she’s the portent of death. She is that kid who was way into The Cure, way into My Chemical Romance. And what Alyvia brought is, yes, this is a creature who is hundreds of years old but can still feel that angst of being a teenager…She’s the loneliest creature in the world because everybody is afraid of death.”

Aron Eli Coleite mentioned that Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi knew a lot more creatures than he did and that they were extremely well-versed in the subject of occult and magical creatures.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is streaming on the Roku Channel.

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1057

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 400 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.