New Progress on Adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book
If you're a fan of Coraline/Stardust author Neil Gaiman you may remember reading an article in January stating that the adaptation of The Graveyard Book that was in the works was apparently a dead project because it was a Miramax film and they're still trying to figure out what's going on. Good news, as Deadline and Heat Vision ran articles today announcing a partnership between Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures and South Korean media company CJ Entertainment (of The Host, Thirst, Mother previously). The companies have selected three project to develop first and it just so happens that The Graveyard Book is one of them!
The Graveyard Book is being adapted as a live-action feature to be written and directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, The Brave One, Ondine). The story is Gaiman's nod to The Jungle Book where a young boy is raised by the ghostly, ghoulish occupants of a graveyard, instead of animals. It sounds like the project is moving forward the exact same as it was earlier this year. Wayfare Entertaiment, Framestore (the visual effects company) and Gaiman will also produce, and CJ will co-finance the film and distribute in Korea and Japan. "The projects we are developing together meet our shared goal of producing movies for the global audience," Columbus said. "We see this as just the beginning of many terrific movies together." I hope so!
The other two projects they've selected to develop are also adaptations, but neither of them have directors:
Killer Pizza - An "action-packed, coming-of-age" comedy about a 14-year old kid who lands a summer job at a pizza joint which serves pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage, but is actually a front for a monster-hunting organization. Sounds like Monster Squad meets Men in Black. Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) is adapting the Greg Taylor novel and Rafaella de Laurentiis will also produce.
Carpe Demon - This novel tells the tale of a stay-at-home mother who is charged with cleaning up her demon-plagued small town. Based on Julie Kenner's novel Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom. This originally was set up at Warner Bros, but is now a 1492/CJ project. Earlier drafts of the script were written by Kevin & Dan Hageman and Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat) & Dan Harris.
All three of these upcoming projects sound pretty damn cool and I'm glad there's at least a few good people who are looking for unique ideas like this instead of the typical rom-com or tentpole behemoth. I haven't ever read The Graveyard Book, but I'm still excited to see the movie partially as a follow-up to Coraline and also because I think it'll make for a great film in the hands of Neil Jordan. In the update in January, Gaiman complained about how hard it was to get financing. "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." Well, it looks like they're past the hard part, now they just need to get it cast and fullly greenlit next. We'll keep you updated!