Henry Selick's Cancelled Stop-Motion Film Has New Life at Laika?
Last month, we wrote about how stop-motion animation director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) was working on a secret project for Disney, but the studio ultimately pulled the plug on it and took a $50 million writedown. Disney left the door open for Selick and his team to shop the movie around to other studios, and now Indiewire is reporting that's exactly what's happened, as Laika, the animation studio behind this year's stop-motion critical darling ParaNorman and Selick's own Coraline, has come to the rescue and is in talks to fund the still-untitled project. Sounds like a good fit to us. Read on!
A few details have surfaced about the project, including the fact that the story revolves around two brothers, it was once called ShadeMaker (presumably named after Henry Selick's San Francisco-based production company), and it's supposedly going to take Selick's "special brand of surrealism into a new direction," whatever that means. I'm just glad this project is finding a home somewhere, because it seems like a ton of work already went into the production and Disney pulled the plug because the tone was a bit too dark for the family-friendly Mouse House. Reportedly a sequence of the movie involving and/or set in Central Park is already finished, so hopefully Selick and Laika, who parted ways a few years ago, can revive this one quickly.
Update: We noticed a tweet from Laika (@LAIKAhouse) where they directly respond to a question about picking up this project. The only reply: "Most likely not." However, this was written nearly a month ago, on August 30th, and much could have changed by now. Indiewire's Bill Desowitz in an animation insider, but his update is also unconfirmed, stating: "Selick is in discussions with Laika." We'll have to wait and see.