Disney’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book finds new life in director Ron Howard. Last April, Disney picked up the feature rights to The Graveyard Book with plans to reunite director Henry Selick (Coraline) with another Gaiman work. Then, just this past August, Disney put a halt to the production, which was then slotted for stop-motion animation, citing creative issues. The latest twist is not only that Howard is reportedly in negotiations to helm the picture, but that it will be a live-action adaptation (which is interesting considering most of the characters are dead…). Hit the jump for more.
In 2010, Coraline writer/director Henry Selick signed a long-term deal to make stop-motion movies for Disney. Soon after, they scheduled Selick’s first Disney movie for October 2013 acquired Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book for Selick to adapt. Back up one second, though: Disney has decided to stop production on the untitled 2013 project. Sources tell Variety, “From a creative and scheduling standpoint, the pic wasn’t where it needed to be to meet its planned release date and the studio decided not to continue production as a result.” That is unfortunate, but thankfully Disney is expected to continue developing the Graveyard Book adaptation with Selick. Selick is now able to shop the untitled project around to other studios. There is no voice cast set, and no artwork was ever released publicly, so the transition to a new studio should be smooth if Selick can drum up interest elsewhere.
Disney has proffered a deal that will reunite author Neil Gaiman and director Henry Selick (Coraline) to bring The Graveyard Book to life. The best-selling children’s title drew attention from every major studio but Disney ultimately won out on the adaptation rights with a high six-figure bid. The Newbury Award-winning The Graveyard Book is a one-off take on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book which replaces the boy raised by wolves with a young orphan raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Those familiar with Gaiman’s other works (The Sandman comics, Stardust, American Gods) and, equally, those who were fans of Coraline will be happy to hear that The Graveyard Book is a high priority for Disney. Hit the jump for more.