Neil Gaiman‘s best-selling YA novel The Graveyard Book, a ghoulish play on The Jungle Book, has been in development heck for a little while. It was announced as a stop-motion Disney project directed by Henry Selick (Coraline) in early 2012, but that version was put on hold when Selick and Disney parted ways late last year.

Now the project is back in action, and remains at Disney. But a couple big things have changed. One is that Ron Howard is in talks to step in to direct. The other is that his version will be a live-action film. Read More »

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Briefly: Yesterday we told you two things: one, that Disney had picked up Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book and would make development of a feature based on the book a priority. And two, that Henry Selick, who directed The Nightmare Before Christmas and another Neil Gaiman book adaptation, Coraline, has been consulting with Disney and Pixar talent for his latest feature. Turns out those things are more closely related than we thought.

Now Disney has attached Selick to direct The Graveyard Book, which sounds wonderful. I thought very highly of his work on Coraline, which aside from the one character invented for the film, was a really solid effort. Incidentally, Deadline also says that The Graveyard Book will come after the film Selick has been working on for the past year.

Here’s where there’s some confusion. Deadline says that Selick is “already working for Disney-based Pixar on a top secret film.” That contrasts the last info we had, which said that Selick had consulted with Pixar on the feature he’s working on at his own animation studio, Cinderbiter. Regardless, Disney is set to release his next film, and I wouldn’t settle into the idea that he’s making a Pixar movie just yet.

You’d think that Disney had the screen rights all sewn up for adaptations of Rudyard Kipling‘s story collection The Jungle Book. But in fact the book is public domain. (It was when Walt Disney set the animated film into motion, too.) And there have been a few live-action films over the years, some by Disney, some not. Now we may soon see a new version of the story of the boy Mowgli, raised in the Indian jungle by Baloo the bear and Bagheera, a black panther.

Meanwhile, in an interesting turn of events, today also sees a deal through which Disney will produce and distribute a film based on Neil Gaiman‘s novel The Graveyard Book. That novel was written with the express inspiration of The Jungle Book, though in Gaiman’s text the jungle is replaced with — you got it — a cemetery.

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In October of 2008 we heard from Neil Gaiman that a film was in development based on his novel The Graveyard Book. A few months later, Gaiman revealed that Neil Jordan would write and direct. And that, for the most part, is all we’ve known about the project.

Now a report on the slate of films for Chris Columbus‘ company 1492 Pictures and financing partner CJ Entertainment out of South Korea suggests that the film is coming closer to being a reality. That’s a joy; not only is Jordan a potentially great choice for the material, but after a week of regurgitated reboot and sequel news, this is news of a film that could have a unique identity. Read More »

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