Henry Selick's The Shadow King Gets Resurrected, Plot Synopsis Revealed

Henry Selick hasn't had a great deal of luck in the last few months. While he had been working with Disney to develop a new original stop motion film the studio eventually decided to can the project because it was too dark and taking too much time to make. Then there was a chance that the Oregon-based Laika would take on the project - having previously worked with Selick on Coraline - but that deal fell through too. The situation looked dire and it wasn't too hard to imagine that the director's vision would never get made. But today hope has arrived.

Coming Soon has learned via press release that Selick has made a deal with K5 International to make his long-gestating stop motion movie, and what's more the project finally has a title and a plot synopsis. The movie is titled The Shadow King, and I honestly don't think I can do the story justice through paraphrasing. Here it is in its entirety:

The Shadow King is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.

Josh Penn, who produced Beasts of the Southern Wild, is also attached to the project, which is based on a script written by Selick. Said the director in a statement, "K5 is the perfect presenter for The Shadow King – they appreciate the film's exciting blend of the fantastic and personal with its mix of humor, scares, and moments of sweetness. We can't wait to get back into production."

Given the amount of time it takes for a stop-motion feature to be made it should be a while before The Shadow King heads to theaters, but we will be waiting eagerly.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.