In our last article concerning Coraline director Henry Selick, we reported that he would be returning to the House of the Mouse to direct an original stop-motion animated film. Unfortunately for Selick fans, now comes word that Disney has pulled the plug on his untitled project, which has been in production since last summer and was set to release on October 4th, 2013.
According to Variety, sources close to the production said the film was not far enough along at this stage and wasn’t expected to reach the planned release date. The studio decided to throw in the hat and cease further activity on the project as a result.
Since replacing Rich Ross as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios in June of this year, this decision marks new Chairman Alan Horn’s first pause of production. While this film will not move forward under Disney’s watch, the studio made it easier for another distributor to pick it up as no promotional details or artwork have been disclosed to date.
Selick’s other project, also on Disney’s upcoming slate, is said to be unaffected by this series of events. That film is The Graveyard Book, based on the popular Neil Gaiman book of the same name, which is primarily set in a (brace yourselves) graveyard. The main character, Nobody Owens, is adopted and raised by the occupants of said graveyard after his family is murdered. Despite being a rather morbid topic at first glance, the story is a children’s fantasy tale – written as a sort of macabre version of The Jungle Book - and was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Newberry Medal.
Selick is no stranger to bringing Gaiman’s stories to life as the critically acclaimed Coraline was also adapted from Gaiman’s original novel. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, The Graveyard Book is expected to be utilizing stop-motion animation, as well.
In addition to Coraline, Selick helmed producer Tim Burton’s 1993 classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas, as well as James and the Giant Peach. Since the 1970s, Selick has established himself as a man that can dabble in many trades, with writing, directing and producing credits under his belt.
What is to become of Selick’s untitled stop-motion project now that it doesn’t have a home? Be sure to check back with us for updates as the story develops.