Henry Selick is once more in possession of the rights to his beloved project and has ambitions to get it up and running.
Henry Selick is one of the undisputed masters of stop motion. From The Nightmare Before Christmas to Coraline, there are few creators out there that that have crafted such celebrated stop motion wonder as he. Whilst out promoting his latest film, Wendell & Wild, Selick revealed that he has managed to wrangle the rights to one of his passion projects back from Disney, no mean feat considering how Disney safeguards any and all of its intellectual property.
Whilst speaking to Double Toasted, Selick revealed the news and said that if his new film is a success, “maybe I’ll revive The Shadow King”
“It’d be different, it’d be like my original story, which they claimed they loved, but then changed everything in it”.
“In my mind it was sort of like a darker in tone Dumbo. You know, Dumbo is made fun of for his big ears … well this was a kid with deformed hands and maybe they’re not as cute as big ears and that was their problem, but that’s a really messed up thing. He’s going to get taught by a living shadow girl how to use those hands to not only make the greatest hand shadows in the world, but hand shadows that can come to life. I thought that was a good story and still think it is.”
So do we, as it happens and we’re probably not alone.
Disney’s interference in the project led to its undoing, with then-Pixar chief, John Lasseter reportedly wanting to repeatedly ramp up the budget and ideas, whilst Disney itself was wary of the film’s dark tone, an issue that we’ve seen play out over and over and over with the studio throughout the years. To his credit, Selick would stick to his guns and development on the project would ultimately stall.
With the news surfacing that the rights are once again with Selick, we’re keen to see him get to realise his ambitions for the project and it will be interesting to see who he chooses to partner with (is it possible the director might reforge a partnership with Laika, perhaps?). You can support Selick’s ambitions by checking out Wendell & Wild on Netflix, where the film is available right now.
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