Disney Acquires Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ Adaptation [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated April 28th, 2012 at 7:12 am,

disney neil gaiman graveyard book movie Disney Acquires Neil Gaimans The Graveyard Book Adaptation [Updated]

[UPDATE: Coraline director Henry Selick is now attached to helm The Graveyard Book!]

The literary works of renowned author Neil Gaiman have been successfully translated into cinematic form in recent years (Stardust, Coraline). Similarly, two of the fan-fave writer’s most famous creations – the novel American Gods and his Sandman graphic novel/comic book series – are currently in the early stages of being television series.

Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book - a piece of children’s literature that’s been awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the Newberry Medal (among others) – is also now prepped to make the jump to the big screen, with Walt Disney Pictures backing the production.

Deadline has learned that Oscar-nominee Gil Netter is currently attached to produce The Graveyard Book for Disney. He’s a backer with a pretty eclectic resume that includes literary adaptations of all three shades – namely, successful (Marley & Me), moderately-successful (Water for Elephants) and not-so-successful (Eragon). Netter is also backing Ang Lee’s Life of Pi adaptation, which has been generating lots of good buzz this past week at CinemaCon.

Partly inspired by The Jungle Book, Graveyard Book tells the tale of Nobody (Bod for short) Owens, whose family is murdered when he’s just an infant. Nobody inadvertently escapes being killed after climbing out of his crib and making his way over to a nearby graveyard. There, the ghostly residents and enigmatic caretaker, Silas, raise the boy and protect him from his parents’ killer: a mysterious man named Jack, who belongs to an equally mysterious (and sinister) organization.

graveyard book david mckean Disney Acquires Neil Gaimans The Graveyard Book Adaptation [Updated]

One of David McKean's illustrations for 'The Graveyard Book'

UK Effects House Framestone optioned The Graveyard Book for a movie adaptation a couple years back, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Michael Collins) slated to direct. While that version of the project ultimately failed to get off the ground, Jordan’s Onidine producer and co-executive producer – Ben Browning and Michael Maher of Wayfare, respectively – are still onboard to back the adaptation.

Graveyard Book read (no pun) as ripe material for someone like Jordan to handle, given his expertise in the area of supernatural horror parables (The Company of Wolves, Interview with the Vampire). Hopefully, Disney will recruit a fitting replacement for Jordan – someone capable of effectively translating the mixture of morbid and sentimental elements present in Gaiman’s source material into cinematic form (like Henry Selick did with Coraline).

UPDATE: Speak of the devil - since they first broke the story, Deadline has learned that Selick is now attached to direct The Graveyard Book. Considering that the filmmaker specializes in stop-motion animation (The Nightmare Before ChristmasCoraline), it stands to reason that he’ll also employ that technology to bring the story of Nobody Owens to life on the big screen. Intriguing, for sure.

We will keep you up-to-date on the status of The Graveyard Book as the story (again, no pun) develops.


Source: Deadline

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  1. I loooove this book. It’s something that I’ve enjoyed as an adult and think I can’t wait to read this to kids if I have some one day.
    Neil Gaiman has a way of taking you into the world Bod lives in and the visuals in my imagination were spectacular. It’s always nerve wracking to see something you enjoyed on the page turned into a movie. Hollywood tends to eff that up, but here’s hoping they don’t!!!

    • I agree, I’ve read many YA and Children’s novels and The Graveyard Book is up there with Harry Potter. I hope the film adaptation does justice.

  2. American Gods is my favorite Gaimin book. I would love a movie version of that.
    I have also read The Graveyard Book and I thought it was a very good story. I think it could be a fantastic movie , I’m really looking forward to this .

    • HBO is developing a TV series based on American Gods.. Tom Hanks is producing.. So we might see a good adaptation of one the finest books ever written. :)

  3. I loved the book! When I read it I always pictured it as a stop motion movie like Coraline or The Nightmare Before Christmas…I’m so glad they’re finally moving forward with this project

  4. YES! Loved this book

  5. This is fantastic news! The book is excellently written and highly entertaining. Selick has already shown he can adapt one of Gaiman’s works to the big screen, so this is the perfect development. I look forward to seeing the finished film and enjoying as thoroughly as I did “Coraline”.

  6. Awesome. I use this book to hook kiddos in the classroom into reading. I love the whole movie to book crossovers because some children just learn better visually. So more Gaiman in movies for me please!

  7. Can not go wrong with the great Mr. Selick. ^_^

    mac :]

  8. I have been reading this book for a while now and think it is amazing and I hope they do come out with the movie could you email me the date it would possibly be coming out that would be great