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Henry Selick is primarily known for his work in the field of stop-motion animation, having previously directed features like Coraline, James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but now, for the first time since 2001's Monkeybone, the filmmaker is ready to dive back into the world of live-action. According to Screen Daily, Selick is now attached to direct A Tale Dark & Grimm, a new feature based on the book by author Adam Gidwitz and illustrator Hugh D'Andrade.
A twist on some the most beloved classic fairy tales, the book follows Hansel and Gretel as their go from their own Grimm tale to eight others. Along the way they must face off against witches, dragons and demons, and in doing so learn the real truth behind the myths. Selick has co-written the screenplay with writers John W Mann and Jon Gunn. Said the director in a statement, "I remain completely enraptured by Adam Gidwitz’ marvelous book A Tale Dark & Grimm. It’s a hilarious, deeply inventive tale about survival in the world of fairytales and what it takes to forgive one’s parents."
Twists on classic fairy tales have been in ever since Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland managed to pull in over a billion dollars at the global box office, but one has to wonder how long it's going to take before the market gets too saturated. We already saw a twist on the Hansel and Gretel story earlier this year in Tommy Wirkola's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and we still have movies like Robert Stromberg's Maleficent, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella and Rob Marshall's Into The Woods coming out in the next year or so. Selick is a wonderful filmmaker and any project that he is involved in has my attention, but I do wonder if the source material is going to be able to stand out in a crowd.
Selick actually hasn't directed a feature since Coraline in 2009, but it looks like he's ready to be busy again. In addition to A Tale Dark & Grim the director has also been working on a new stop-motion film called The Shadow King, which has actually been in development for quite a while now. That movie follows the tale of a young orphan in New York named Hap who uses his oddly shaped hands as weapons in a shadow war against a giant monster that wants to kill Hap's brother and destroy New York. At this stage there is no ETA for the movie, but back in February it was reported that K5 International was attached to produce.