The animated Gnomeo & Juliet, which retold William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy using ceramic garden gnomes, was a surprise hit of 2011’s winter season. The film is a few dollars short of the impressive $100 million mark domestically (it sits at $99.96M). It tallied an addition $90M in international markets. And that’s not even counting home video revenue. Now the creative team behind Gnomeo is venturing back into the realm of fantasy family entertainment in hopes that lightning will strike a second time.

Elton John’s Rocket Pictures, which produced Gnomeo, has revealed plans to adapt Derek Keilty’s Will Gallows novel into a kid-friendly film. The story centers on a young cowboy who embarks on adventures in a fantasy land. Deadline reports that Gnomeo writer-director Kelly Asbury will helm the first film, which will be based on the book Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll. Keilty has a second Gallows book, titled Will Gallows and the Thunder-Dragon’s Roar, hitting shelves February 2012, which of course could fuel a sequel if the first film makes any waves.

“It’s a classic cowboy story for kids, set in an amazing world,” John said in a statement. Truthfully, doesn’t that sum up Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens, aside from the fact that it’s for children? Still, with Harry Potter hopping on his broomstick and flying out of Hollywood, the industry is searching for something – anything – to fill the family-fantasy void, and Will Gallows could be a hit. At the very least, it should have a rocking soundtrack, as Deadline reports that just like Gnomeo, the film will have a “strong musical element” that likely will showcase new and classic Elton John songs. I’m already putting in a request for My Father’s Gun, which sounds like a natural fit.

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