Disney decided to pull the plug on Henry Selick's in-the-works stop-motion animated feature film a couple of weeks back, they did so at a cost of $50 million. They weren't keen on it at all, it seems. Really really weren't keen on it.
But why? That's still not something I feel completely clear about. But whatever their reason, it may not matter at all. Selick may have found his white knight.
His white Travis Knight, in fact – the Nike heir, animator and owner of Laika, the animation company that Selick worked with on Coraline.
The studio are apparently looking at ways they might be able to take the project on and have Selick finish it up. They'd get their biggest name director back – though Paranorman has probably done their brand in general a great deal of good, as well as boosted the stock of Chris Butler and Sam Fell significantly.
Details of what Selick's film, formerly known as Shademaker, will entail are pretty sketchy, but Indiewire say it revolves around a pair of brothers, sits in Selick's own personal style but will still push the envelope a little, and have fantastic sets – particularly a miniaturised Central Park.
Well, of course it has fantastic sets. That was pretty much a given.
I hope Laika can work this out, somehow. It would certainly win them the status of Stop Motion Patron Saints round here.
Now, next question: what's going to happen to Selick and Disney's plans for a film of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book?