It seems that the feature film based on Neil Gaiman’s classic children’s tale ‘The Graveyard Book’ is not 6 feet under as originally thought, as there are reports that Ron Howard is in negotiations with Disney to direct a live action film version of the book.
Disney acquired the film rights to “The Graveyard Book’ last April and originally had Henry Selick attached to direct. Selick had helmed a feature based on another of Gaiman’s works, ‘Coraline,’ which was received with rave reviews. It was planned that he would also use the same stop motion technique used in ‘Coraline’ to bring ‘The Graveyard Book’ to life.
But trouble arose between Selick and Disney over the summer and the two parted ways citing scheduling and development differences. It was thought that this was the end of ‘The Graveyard Book’ development.
Disney, however, had other plans and have reconfigured the project as a live action film and are currently talking to Ron Howard to direct. If Howard does come on board, it’s said he will also oversee the writing of a new draft of the screenplay as well as become one of the producers.
‘The Graveyard Book’ is the first novel that earned both the Carnegie and Newbery medals for Best Children’s Book in 2008. For those unfamiliar with the story, here’s the book description courtesy of 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.
If Howard does sign on for ‘The Graveyard Book,’ it may be a while before it gets in front of the cameras. Not only will a new script need to be written, but the director is still trying to find a home for his massive ‘The Dark Tower’ project and he has just signed on with J.J. Abrams to direct the supernatural film ‘All I’ve Got.’
The fact that Disney and Howard are talking indicates that this will be a huge (translate: blockbuster) film so we’ll be keeping our eye on this project! Keep checking back here on ScienceFiction.com for more news as it comes!