Disney are reportedly developing a feature adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book, and have tapped Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, World War Z) to direct.
His producing partner Renée Wolfe will produce through their 2Dux2 banner along with Gil Netter. David Magee will adapt the script.
Gaiman’s book was published in 2008 and tells the story of a boy named Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens, who is adopted and reared by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard after his family is brutally murdered. It won several prestigious literary awards, including the American Newberry Medal.
A film adaptation has been talked about ever since the book was published. Neil Jordan signed on to direct a version in January 2009 for Miramax. When that fell through, Disney acquired the rights in 2012 and hired Henry Selick – who previously adapted Gaiman’s Coraline – to direct. The film was set to be a Pixar project, and would have been their first adaptation.
However, Selick and Disney parted ways over scheduling and development. Ron Howard then stepped in, but the project went nowhere. Until now, where hopefully Forster will have better luck. Gaiman projects are notoriously difficult to translate to screen, and The Graveyard Book going through over a decade of development hell won’t help change that reputation.
Fortunately, Forster, Wolfe and Disney already have a good working relationship, as they all previously collaborated on Christopher Robin in 2018. There’s no word on any scheduling details regarding The Graveyard Book yet, but considering its arduous trip to the big screen, let’s take things one step at a time.
Forster is actually in post-production on two other films right now. One is war drama White Bird: A Wonder Story, a somewhat bizarre spin-off/”companion piece” to 2017 coming-of-age drama Wonder where a side character from that movie visits his grandmother, who tells him stories of her childhood as a young Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Forster is also finishing up work on comedy-drama A Man Called Otto, the second film adaptation of Fredrik Backman‘s A Man Called Ove after the 2015 Swedish film of the same name.
Both of those films are set to arrive later this year. White Bird: A Wonder Story premieres on Friday, October 14, while A Man Called Otto arrives on Wednesday, December 14.