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Neil Jordan’s new film ONDINE (about a water nymph played by newcomer Alicja Bachleda) is seeing limited theatrical release starting today, and the INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and THE COMPANY OF WOLVES director is already working on and talking about his next project: a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.
Coming Soon spoke with Jordan about bringing the children’s fantasy story to the big screen. Gaiman’s book concerns a young boy named Nobody Owens, whose family is mysteriously murdered by a man named Jack and who is subsequently adopted by a graveyard’s ghostly residents.
“[The book has] Silas the vampire, and Miss Lupescu the werewolf, and all the graveyard creatures. It’s a rather wonderful conception, all these ghosts are terrified of one human being, and normally, it’s the total opposite, so we’ll be running through the graveyard and all the ghosts will be in a panic, like the forest animals in BAMBI. I think it’s quite cool, ghosts terrified by a human being. So we’re starting to build in sequences like that.”
As of yet, no studio has been announced for the film. “When Neil came to me with the book, he wanted to keep it somewhat outside of the studio system, but it’s proving difficult, because it’s an expensive movie, and movies like that are now made in 3-D. We’ve got a budget, and if we can make it for $40 million, we have the financing, but if it goes over $40 million, then we’re in a bit of trouble. Movies like that are very hard to do these days. We were about to do it with Miramax, and Miramax wanted to get into doing larger films, so it was Disney, and we talked to Dick Cook, the head of Disney at that time, and we had it all set up to do that way, with the backing of a large studio, with a large release, and then Miramax collapsed, and then Dick Cook was fired from Disney, so the movie went into a bit of a hiatus. I’ve written a script, and I’ve just delivered another draft, so I hope to be starting production in the fall. I’d love to start doing it in September. We just don’t know who the studio would be at this point. I think Universal is interested in doing it. Actually, there are four different entities that want to do it, and the thing of American distribution is yet to be worked out. Movies are so bloody complicated.”
Casting hasn’t begun yet, but Jordan has some ideas about what type of actor he would like for the lead. “I think you’d need an unknown to play Nobody [the main character otherwise known as Bod]. You’d need three people to play him, but there are some great parts for bigger names, like for Silas or Miss Lupescu.”
Click here to read our first GRAVEYARD BOOK post, which also covers Chris Columbus’ Korean horror co-production deal.
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