John Moore, the director behind last year’s remake of The Omen is looking to work with another disturbed young boy. This time the child isn’t the antichrist, but instead the hero of a disturbing fairy tale world from John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.
Moore’s Point Road Productions will adapt the Connolly novel, which tells the story of a young boy who escapes from real world problems through books, which take him into a world of monsters for him to fight. What real world problems? How about the death of his mother, and then his father remarrying, and then his new stepmother getting pregnant. Yeah, I would want to escape into a fantasy world too. The Hollywood Reporter points out the novel is for adults, despite the 12-year-old central character.
What isn’t pointed out in the announcement of Moore’s adaptation is how similar this is to another, recent story, about a little girl who escaped from real world problems (which included a pregnant mother and a cruel stepfather) into a world of fantasy – also a tale which was specifically for adults. Yes, I’m talking about Pan’s Labyrinth. Now, I’m not accusing anyone of ripping anyone else off. After all, the idea of escaping into a fantasy world has been around for a long, long time. It’s just that Pan’s Labyrinth and The Book of Lost Things bear very strong similarities and are both aimed at more adult audiences.
But those similarities might work to Moore’s advantage. Pan’s might give him a level of quality he has to include in his film, but that might also give him a built in audience – especially from the crowd of movie-goers who still stubbornly refuse to see foreign films (“I don’t want to read my movie”). Hopefully the inevitable comparisons won’t hurt Lost Things, which sounds like it has a lot of potential.
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