The great and masterful weaver of tales, Neil Gaiman, has had more than a few of his amazing stories turned into movies over the years. And though the likelihood of a Sandman flick is still just a fanboy dream, there is one more book that Hollywood would like to see on the big screen, his award winning The Graveyard Book. Disney has been trying to get this done for some time, originally bringing back Henry Selick, director of another of Gaiman’s pictures, Coraline. But that fell through and since then the project has been on hiatus. Now, it may get done after all – courtesy of Ron Howard.
Howard is not only looking to take over for Selick, but he also wants to change up the format of the proposed movie. At first the plan was, as can be expected, to make it stop-motion animation. Howard thinks that a live-action format would be best. The director and the great mouse overlord are still in talks, so we’ll just have to wait and see if this one goes any further.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Gaiman’s story, here’s a blurb:
It takes a graveyard to raise a child.
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.
Personally, I’ve been waiting to see this one come to the big screen, though I, like most, didn’t expect to see it in anything but stop-motion format. Still, it will be interesting to see what Howard can do with it. He’s a great director and I’m very keen to see how he handles one of Gaiman’s stories.
Thanks to Collider for the heads-up.
And with this news I believe this project is on the path to not sucking. Anytime the words “Disney” and “adapting” are linked there’s a sense of fear. “Oh boy, how are they going to fuck this one up?” you ask yourself. Not that Disney hasn’t done great work, of course they have, but they do tend to take other people’s great work and make is almost unrecognizable. Hopefully, by bringing in Henry Selick to direct their adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book they’ve avoided screwing it up.
Selick is probably best known for directing Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, a true masterpiece of stop-motion animation, but he’s also worked from Gaiman’s text before when he directed Coraline, another great film. Stop-motion is wonderfully suited for bring these spooky but not frightening worlds to life and what a smart move to choose it again for The Graveyard Book. Well, I guess we don’t know for sure if it’ll be stop-motion, but remember what I said about making the right decisions so your movie won’t suck. Yeah, this is one of those choices, go with stop-motion.
For those unfamiliar with Gaiman’s book here’s a quick synopsis,
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.
I don’t think they could have asked for a better guy than Selick to direct this movie. They simply must animate with stop-motion, I just can’t imagine it any other way!
What do you guys think? Picking Selick means it must be in stop-motion, right?