Ron Howard in Talks to Adapt Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’

Published 2 years ago by

ron howard jj abrams Ron Howard in Talks to Adapt Neil Gaimans The Graveyard Book

Henry Selick plumbed the depths of an adolescent girl’s psyche and fears with his dazzling 3D stop-motion fantasy Coraline, based on the Neil Gaiman novel. He was planning to next tackle The Graveyard Book, another lauded (and scary) Gaiman story for children; one that serves as a companion piece to Coraline, with its young male protagonist Nobody Owens, Jungle Book-inspired narrative and gloomy world populated by friendly specters and mysterious killers.

Sadly, Disney and Selick parted ways last summer, setting The Graveyard Book on course for a complete overhaul. Scroll on down to learn what’s in the cards for the Gaiman project, now that Selick’s proposed vision (ie. another 3D stop-motion feature) is being abandoned.

Heat Vision is reporting that Graveyard Book has been “reconfigured” as a live-action movie, with Ron Howard currently in talks to direct. The Oscar-winning actor turned filmmaker will be supervising the writing of a fresh screenplay (should he sign on), with Oscar-nominated producer Gil Netter (The Blind Side, Life of Pi) and Ben Browning (Ondine, Sanctum) backing alongside Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment. There’s no mention of the prospective new screenwriter in the THR report, though.

Gaiman’s source material is summarized as follows:

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.

Browning is one of the holdovers from when UK Effects House Framestone optioned Graveyard Book, with Oscar-winner Neil Jordan (The Crying GameOndine) writing and directing. Gaiman’s lauded supernatural coming-of-age parable meeting the storyteller responsible for In the Company of Wolves and The Butcher Boy reads as a holy marriage, in different (but equal) ways as Selick handling the project does; unfortunately, neither promising scenario is happening. C’est la vie.

disney neil gaiman graveyard book movie Ron Howard in Talks to Adapt Neil Gaimans The Graveyard Book

Howard is not without talent, but he’s more likely to deliver the “safe” product that Disney prefers (rather than the artistically-challenging interpretation from Jordan or Selick). Not to mention, Graveyard Book requires a reasonable investment – to properly create its fantastical characters and world – and Howard’s pictures are of the bankable variety more often than his predecessors’ films. Anyway, the source novel is quite treasured, so here’s hoping the movie turns out well.

Howard attached himself to direct All I’ve Got last week; that’s to say, neither his involvement nor immediate progress on The Graveyard Book are guaranteed… not yet, anyway. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.


Source: THR

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  1. I didn’t see this coming at all. Sounds cool though!

  2. Im still waiting for American Gods…….

    • HBO put the adaptation on hold until Gaiman completes American Gods 2, which is the novel he’s working on right now.

      • Thanks, you have any other info like when did he start, or reference to HBO putting it on hold etc?

        The only reason I ask is in Dec 12′ he had handed in a draft to HBO for the AG pilot.


        • Not too much, my knowledge is vague, lol. I’ll try to look it up on the internet for anymore progress on the show, but it seems AG is still on hold.

  3. I am still waiting for Lost symbol…

    • i read ron howards not going to direct that one :/ ….i cant wait to see it either way though

  4. Great job, Disney! Let’s take a Gaiman project away from the guy who did “Coraline” and give it to the guy who did “The Grinch.” Mr. Gaiman, if you’re reading this (and you’re totally not), prepare to feel what Alan Moore feels whenever one of the movies based on his work comes out.

  5. This needs someone like Tim Burton not Mr. Mayberry Ron Howard.

  6. I remember this book!

  7. Neil Gaiman stinks. He can’t write a plot to save his life. His books are lame and dull with characters that are effete and goofy and passive. Gaiman is just a giant PR campaign from Scientology because he’s a standing member of the cult. Now they want their money back so they Gaiman’s supposed to bring in the bacon. Between the talentless Amanda Palmer and the lazy writing of Gaiman, the Sceinos will be waiting a long time.

  8. So first Ron Howard signs the Narconon pledge, in support of Scientology’s fake drug rehab program and takes meetings at Gold Base with Cruise, now he’s going to work with Neil Gaiman who feeds millions into cult.

    Neil Gaiman underwrites Scientology. He is listed in Scientology’s Cornerstone Newsletter along with Mary Gaiman, (contributing $35,000.00 in 2009), Gaiman gave half a million In 2010 for the Scientology goofy “super powers” center. Mary Gaiman was awarded the “Gold Humanitarian Award” for her contribution.
    The Gaiman Family are listed as Silver Meritorious for that year in Scientology’s own magazines (Impact 123). These listings mean that Gaiman is a cash cow for the cult and can reincarnate into another Scientology family according to the Cult’s insane teachings. Gaiman’s money funds a cult that abuses people and destroys lives.

  9. Another fishing expedition by Gaiman to try and get a bite on a mediocre property by a lazy writer.

  10. Neil Gaiman is trying to rehab his s***** image but he still gives money to Scientology. Try standing up against your filthy cult, you coward.