Henry Selick’s THE SHADOW KING Finally Moves Forward; Plot Synopsis Revealed

     February 5, 2013

henry selick

Back in August, we reported the sad news that Disney had canceled production on the untitled next film from Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas).  There were no details on the film, but Selick also tried bringing it to his Coraline partner Laika, but those talks went nowhere.  Furthermore, his stop-motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book has now moved to being a live-action adaptation with Ron Howard in talks to direct.  Leaving Henry Selick in limbo is good for no one, and so I’m happy to report that his untitled feature has a name and is alive once more.

Hit the jump for details on Henry Selick’s The Shadow King.

henry-selickFirst up, here’s the synopsis for The Shadow King:

THE SHADOW KING is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.

Yep, that sounds like a Henry Selick, which sounds good to me.

A press release has announced that producer Josh Penn (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and K5 International have partnered to get financing for the film at the European Film Market in Berlin.  The press release adds that potential buyers are being shown “exclusive clips from the film behind closed doors as part of the presentation.”  I’m not sure how much of the film has been completed (probably not very much), but I’m glad that the project is back on track.

henry-selick-coraline-set-photoHere’s the full press release:

Henry Selick, the genius behind THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and the Oscar® and BAFTA nominated CORALINE, is moving forward with Academy Award nominated producer Josh Penn (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) and K5 International on his latest feature THE SHADOW KING.

THE SHADOW KING is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.

THE SHADOW KING is written and directed by Selick. His team includes an impressive array of renowned artists such as Director of Photographer Peter Sorg, (Frankenweenie, Coraline), Eric Leighton, Animation Director on Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’hoole, Production Designer Lou Romano (The Incredibles), Editor Wyatt Jones (Immortals, Rango, TRON: Legacy, Zodiac), and composer Bruno Coulais (Coraline).

THE SHADOW KING, until recently in hiatus after Disney exited the project, is already a good way into production.

K5 International is bringing Henry Selick to the European Film Market at Berlin to conduct special presentations to selected buyers with exclusive clips from the film screened behind closed doors as part of the presentation.

“K5 is the perfect presenter for THE SHADOW KING – they appreciate the film’s exciting blend of the fantastic and personal with its mix of humor, scares, and moments of sweetness. We can’t wait to get back into production,” stated Henry Selick.

“We immediately realized that THE SHADOW KING is a fantastic and exciting prospect that needed to find the support. To offer our help to Henry’s brilliance as a storyteller is an absolute pleasure for us. And it also demonstrates K5’s commitment to bringing bigger and bolder projects to the market,” say K5’s Co-Founders Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur.

“Henry Selick is the best in the business. His films are all instant classics and they delight family audiences all over the world over and over again,” adds Partner Sales Carl Clifton.

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