Monday, April 03, 2006

Laika Option Here Be Monsters - But Will Henry Selick Direct?

Most online reports are quite clear that Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, will be the man leading the adaptation of Alan Snow's children's book Here Be Monsters. However, these same online reports appear to be rooted in one release, published in The Hollywood Reporter, and, strictly speaking, that isn't what it says at all.

In fact, all the report says is that the project will be "overseen" by Selick. Normally, we I would take that to guarantee he is directing the film, think nothing more of it, but I know that his plate is already very full, and will be for at least a couple more years.

Currently, Selick is directing a big-screen translation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. The film is still at a very early stage, but we do already know a few things about it. We know that Selick wrote the screenplay himself, and that Gaiman was very complimentary about his changes. We know that They Might Be Giants are writing and recording songs for the soundtrack. We know that Dakota Fanning will be the voice of Coraline herself. We have seen just one, incredibly early, poster that would have been designed to announce production rather than promote the movie. And we know that making films - particularly animated films - is a long, and time consuming process.

So either Here Be Monsters is a few years down the trail, or Coraline has been peculiarly and perversely abandoned, or - and this is the one, I think - the film is to be produced at Laika under a different director, but with Selick on hand, much like all of Pixar (and now all of Disney, even) consult with John Lasseter.

Laika would benefit from following the Pixar model as closely as possible, and though Selick is not quite Lasseter, well, who is?

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