The company behind the Haunted Mansion is getting ready to tell another tale of ghosts and goblins. Disney has just hired director Marc Forster (Christopher Robin) to direct The Graveyard Book, a film based on the award-winning novel by Neil Gaiman.
The Graveyard Book was released in 2008 and, according to Amazon, is “the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.” It follows a young boy named Nobody Owens, referred to as “Bod,” who is a normal boy save for the fact he lives in a graveyard and is being raised by ghosts. It blends humor and heart with danger and the macabre in a way that only Neil Gaiman can do. Deadline broke the news of the directorial hire which marks the first significant movement on the adaptation. David Magee, who wrote Mary Poppins Returns for Disney and Finding Neverland for Forster, is penning the screenplay.
There’s no word when Forster might get around to The Graveyard Book or, when he does, if it’ll be a Disney theatrical release or go straight to Disney+. Either way, on paper it seems like a solid combination of rich, vibrant source material and a director who has proven more than capable of handling that. Though, to be fair, it’s been a good while since Forster directed anything truly memorable. Films like Christopher Robin, Machine Gun Preacher, and Quantum of Solace haven’t been great and even a big hit like World War Z is no big fan favorite. Maybe having Gaiman on board, a creator with a strong sense of story, worldbuilding, and character, will help make this something special.
We’ll know if this is a project we can expect in the next few years if Disney chooses to highlight it at September’s D23 Expo, its own version of Comic-Con. If not, it might be a long wait.
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