Neil Gaiman Says 'Graveyard Book' Movie is Dead, For Now
After the adaptation of author Neil Gaiman's quirky fantasy adventure Stardust failed to receive proper and respectful marketing attention from Paramount, the author is no stranger to disappointment when it comes to adaptations of his award-winning books. Unfortunately the director has to feel that pain yet again as he revealed to LA Times' Hero Complex that Neil Jordan's adaptation of his Newbery Medal winning children's story The Graveyard Book can be placed in the cemetery itself as a dead project, for the time being. This bad news comes one year after the Coraline writer announced the project on The Today Show.
This development, or lack thereof, is another in a bit of depressing hits in Gaiman's life as the very revealing article chronicles Gaiman's struggles over the last couple years, the author recounted, "I was leading up to the writing of an Anansi Boys screenplay [based on my first novel], which begins with an incredibly funny sequence where the protagonist's father keels over from a surprise heart attack. And as I was doing that my father keeled over and died of a surprise heart attack. It's not terribly funny though, is it?"
Not in the least, sir. But this tragedy was last March, so Gaiman has had some time to reflect and mourn, and slowly but surely seems to be getting back to the grind. However, that doesn't mean other parties were as eager or prepared to continue his adaptation work:
"[Graveyard Book] was all put together over at Miramax Films. The people there had a long, great relationship with Neil Jordan and it was all set up and ready to go, and then Miramax was more or less erased from existence. It became a filing cabinet in somebody's desk, more or less… But it looks like almost all the pieces are on the table again. They have a studio, they have a distributor and they are putting stuff together and I'm not allowed to say anything else.
These days we're in this strange and fascinating world where it seems that even movie studios don't have the money to make movies anymore. That's been the story of most of the films I've been involved in. The long, strange journey is the financing part; the journey of the filmmaking is always incredibly easy and straightforward.”
I'm not sure that a filmmaker like Henry Selick would agree that filmmaking is easy and straightforward having spent quite a long time making the award-winning stop-motion animated adaptation of Coraline. However, he's definitely right about the more unpleasant parts of production like financing, and marketing and whatnot. Though Gaiman still seems a bit jaded, it sounds like The Graveyard Book could get off the ground sooner or later, but for now we'll just have to have some patience. Although this is one adaptation I am looking forward to one day seeing. We'll keep you posted on further developments about this project.