Bad news for animation fans as Disney shut down production on director Henry Selick latest stop-motion feature yesterday afternoon. The crew of approximately 150 was told that the work stoppage and that the studio would not be proceeding with the untitled project.
Disney had been shooting for an October 4, 2013 release for the film, but according to Deadline the studio was not particularly happy with the footage that had been coming since shooting started last summer.
Selick, the director behind such classics as Coraline, James And The Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas, does have the right to shop the partially completed film to other studios.
I have to admit to being of two minds on this news. On the one hand, I always welcome a new Selick film so the news that one that was halfway to completion is potentially being junked is disheartening. On the other hand, though, if it was a troubled project that warranted scrapping, then perhaps it is better to wait to get a film that lives up to his talents rather than getting one that doesn’t sooner.
In the meantime, if Disney is looking to keep working with Selick on future projects, I would suggest that they look at Neil Gaiman’s book The Graveyard Book, which the studio picked up this past April. He has already proved an affinity for Gaiman’s work with Coraline, which was based on the writer’s children’s novel, and I think it is something that fans of both men would be excited for.