Last August, Disney shut down production on stop-motion animation director Henry Selick’s latest project and ultimately took a $50 million write off. For Disney to hit the brakes midway through production was generally viewed as a bad sign, but it looks like there are those who would disagree as it is being announced today that Selick has found new funding for the project, which we now know is titled The Shadow King, through producer Josh Penn and K5 International.
This is certainly good news for those of us who know what a great and imaginative director Selick can be. If you don’t know, I would refer you to his most recent work, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s children’s fantasy novel Coraline. And judging from the plot description in the press release below, it sounds as if it will be tonally similar.
Here is the press released that was published this morning –
Henry Selick, the genius behind THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and the Oscar® and BAFTA nominated CORALINE, is moving forward with Academy Award nominated producer Josh Penn (BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD) and K5 International on his latest feature THE SHADOW KING.
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.
THE SHADOW KING is written and directed by Selick. His team includes an impressive array of renowned artists such as Director of Photographer Peter Sorg, (Frankenweenie, Coraline), Eric Leighton, Animation Director on Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’hoole, Production Designer Lou Romano (The Incredibles), Editor Wyatt Jones (Immortals, Rango, TRON: Legacy, Zodiac), and composer Bruno Coulais (Coraline).
THE SHADOW KING, until recently in hiatus after Disney exited the project, is already a good way into production.
K5 International is bringing Henry Selick to the European Film Market at Berlin to conduct special presentations to selected buyers with exclusive clips from the film screened behind closed doors as part of the presentation.
“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,” stated Henry Selick.
“We immediately realized that THE SHADOW KING is a fantastic and exciting prospect that needed to find the support. To offer our help to Henry’s brilliance as a storyteller is an absolute pleasure for us. And it also demonstrates K5’s commitment to bringing bigger and bolder projects to the market,” say K5’s Co-Founders Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur.
“Henry Selick is the best in the business. His films are all instant classics and they delight family audiences all over the world over and over again,” adds Partner Sales Carl Clifton.