Fans of Neil Gaiman can start cheering as Disney has just announced that it has purchased the rights for his book ‘The Graveyard Book’ to adapt for the big screen.
‘The Graveyard Book’ has won numerous awards including the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Newberry Award Medal. Ever since the book’s release, studios have been itching to make it into a feature film. It was first optioned by UK Effects House Framehouse and although Neil Jordan (‘Interview with a Vampire’, ‘The Borgias’) had been attached to write and direct, the project never seemed to move forward even though Ben Browning of Wayfare who controlled the rights kept renewing the option. The project was then brought in to Disney who made a six figure bid for the property.
‘The Graveyard Book’ is an adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’ where instead of an orphaned boy raised by wolves in the jungle, Gaiman’s tale is of the last surviving child of a murdered family who is raised by ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, in a graveyard. Here’s a book description from Amazon:
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.
Many of Gaiman’s works have already hit the big and small screen. ‘Stardust’ and ‘Coraline’ have already been seen in theaters and he’s written an episode for ‘Babylon 5’ and ‘Doctor Who.’ His best seller ‘American Gods’ is currently in development to become an HBO series with Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone, producing.
I really enjoyed the adaptation of ‘Coraline’ and am wondering how Disney would approach this project. Would they bring the book to life via animation or decide to do a live action production. Hopefully, Disney won’t let this sit in development too long. Either way, as a Gaiman fan, this is great news!
By the way, if you’re not familiar with this novel, here’s the trailer for the book:
‘The Graveyard Book’ Trailer Narrated by Neil Gaiman: