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More Gaiman On The Way! THE GRAVEYARD BOOK Gets A Director!

Beaks here...

Whilst making the press rounds this morning for CORALINE, Neil Gaiman revealed that the film adaptation of his Newbery Award-winning tome, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, has finally landed a director. And it's not, as previously assumed/hoped, Henry Selick. No, it's Neil Jordan, who once upon a time spun an elegant retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" called THE COMPANY OF WOLVES. Though that film was much darker and far more sensual than Gaiman's kid-skewing yarn, it shows you how seriously Jordan takes his fairy tales. And, along with INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (as well as passages of the flawed-but-fascinating IN DREAMS), it also gives you an idea of how perfectly suited he is to this material. There will be no dulling of edges under Jordan's watch. If you haven't read Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, it's a rather inventive variation on THE JUNGLE BOOK, with the protagonist being raised by ghosts instead of animals. I'm thrilled that it won the Newbery, and can't wait to see what Jordan does with it.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    Movie sounds interesting.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    im not getting any younger, Mr Gaiman.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Fuck this

    by Darth_Tarantino

    When is 'American Gods' going to be made into an epic gothic/Americana film trilogy? That's what I want to know!!

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:37 p.m. CST


    by comicsniper

    God, I'm so pathetic...

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Whats up with this being so late?

    by liljuniorbrown

    Why am I reading this stuff at other sites first? Oh well.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Neil Jordan is the fucking bomb.


  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Who are the ad wizards...

    by wampa 1

    ...that came up with this one?

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    I'd rather not see Sandman made.

    by beastie

    It's just too big. It would need, in order to get it right (for me), a director who can mix mediums (live-action, animation, mo-cap and various other styles) to dedicate ten years of work and way too much money. Just leave it alone - it's easy enough to go back and read.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    That being said, I haven't read The Graveyard Book.

    by beastie

    And it sounds good. Neil Jordan is a director that I'd love to see tackle some Gaiman, so go for it.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Seriously, SANDMAN can work.

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Season of Mists / Brief Lives / Kindly Ones trilogy + Wake epilogue = potential Tim Burton return to glory? Depp as Dream? I could live with Helena Bonham Carter as Desire... just don't let the lady play Death for the love of god.... give that to Shannon Sossamyn.. she'd be perfect.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:12 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    I agree with you about the story being too big-- even though the plot of Preludes would be ridiculous onscreen (in my opinion, anyway) you need to establish Dream's weariness with his duties well before he gets the key to Hell. A whole nother movie before, in my opinion. But Preludes would just suck as an actual film, and the way Season of Mists starts off introducing all of his family so elegantly would probably be a pretty tempting starting point from a Hollywood perspective, as well as Seasons' status as a sort of fan fave.<P>Anyway, as long as they're going to treat comics as the only possible inspiration for a movie these days, they may as well take on the best. The comics will always be there for people to appreciate them as the masterpiece they are, and assuming Depp would want to do it I think he'd be the obvious choice--- and seeing the motherfucker act again would be something I'd enjoy after the decade or so he's spent slumming around with Disney.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:26 p.m. CST

    THE COMPANY OF WOLVES is an Angela Carter story

    by palimpsest

    Gaiman is a fine genre talent, and Jordan an interesting, though variable writer/director (though his novels are fine), but Angela Carter put (past tense; she's dead) them both to shame. Read her work, then come back with a valid opinion...

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST

    glad neil is finally getting the recognition

    by bacci40

    he most richly deserves

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:31 p.m. CST

    still no American Gods?

    by Maniaq

    wake me what that happens

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST

    This is indeed cool news.

    by TheMark

    I just got this book for Christmas and almost plowed through the entire thing in a day (though, I was stuck in the airport for the better part of said day) and it totally rocks. I love Gaiman's style and think that Neil Jordan's an above average pick for director. I'm totally geeked!

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    School Librarian checking in

    by Larry of Arabia

    This selection shocked almost everyone in our system. I think it's a brilliant choice. The Newbery Award books since 2004's selection of The Tale of Desperaux (best readaloud book in 10 years, btw) have been "good for you" books that have little kid appeal. They are the type of books that adults think kids should read. That's not to say they aren't good (the girls that read "Criss-Cross" and love it truly love it) but they haven't been exciting or lasting selections. Before 2004 every winner was a historical fiction book. Now we finally have a boy book, the kind of story that kids in middle school lap up over and over. Finally a great genre book, a wonderful horror story, and fantastic fantasy without talking animals. Bully for them. Many are saying this isn't a good choice. I think it's the best since Holes.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:05 p.m. CST


    by DOGSOUP

    I'm glad you are excited about the Endless as I am but you should know the current project isn't called Sister Death, it's called Death and Me based on Death:The High Cost of Living. Also while again I share your passion for The Sandman, honestly would a movie alone do the IMMENSE story justice? You could do Preludes and Nocturnes as a movie but I don't want them to leave out a single note of the series. Can you imagine Hob Gadling being omitted? Wanda? Lyta Hall? Thessaly? The Corinthian? I could go on and on which, my point being, I'm afraid a movie franchise would not. Instead I propose a long running HBO/Showtime series. That's the only way the Story of Stories would be treated with the justice it deserves. What do you think alice 13? In conclusion Neil and Neil together is such amazingly Cool News I think I'm going to change my pants.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    The Sandman...

    by mukhtabi

    Deserves to be a Prestige Level 5 season limited run television event on HBO or Showtime. And as mentioned earlier it should be mixed media of live action and animation. I have a plan to make it happen, not that Warner Bros. is going to ask me anytime in the near future.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    Actually On Second Thought

    by DOGSOUP

    They said Watchmen was unfilmable but compared to The Sandman it's almost cut-and-paste. I'd rather have those four huge ass Essential Sandman tomes to keep me happy on a Portland winter day. If I see Neil at the PIFF though I'll try to ask him quickly on the status of Death and Me. Last I heard about it was before the writer's strike where he wanted to have it be his directorial debut. IF someone TRIES to film the unfilmable a multimedia ongoing series on an adult cable channel with the production value of Rome and the enigmatic storytelling of Carnivale. I don't think that'll happen but it's preferable to a hack-job movie.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    The 20th time's the charm?

    by criticalbliss

    Maybe something by Gaiman will actually be good? After careful consideration: not likely.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:44 p.m. CST

    American Gods sucks

    by criticalbliss

    Seriously. Who wants that plotless slice of ass filmed?

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 9:48 p.m. CST


    by lovecraftian

    This will be freaking awesome!

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    I really don't see Burton making a good Sandman.

    by beastie

    Don't get me wrong. I like what he does, but everything turns gothic with him. Sandman has a some subtle and some not so subtle plays on Greek and Roman mythology that seem important to the characters idiosyncracies. I think Burton would just skip over them. BUT I would love to be proven wrong and Burton make the craziest movie(s) of his career and knock that out of the park. But this is all hypothetical anyway.</p>Whether or not Sandman is filmable doesn't change my mind from being excited that some Gaiman work that is filmable is being made.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Follow Gaiman on Twitter

    by CoffeeShop

    If anyone is on Twitter, Neil Gaiman is an avid "tweeter." (@neilhimself) He actually tweeted the announcement this morning just after his all too brief appearance on the Today Show. He's also put up a couple panels on his blog of art from the Batman comic he's writing. Kind of cool stuff.

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST


    by alice 13

    yeah- sister death/ death + me/high cost. i havent heard anything about it lately the last news i read on his journal was he was going back into a done script to rework it. so close. and a sandman done by gaiman on cable tv would blow me away to heaven. much better way of unfolding it and not being constrained by time limits. as long as gaiman can do the sandman as he knows it and wants it.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Johnny Depp for Morpheus, Tilda Swinton for Desire...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...and Tori Amos for Delirium.<p>You know it, monkeys...

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Graveyard book is for kids only.

    by V'Shael

    Gaiman can write awesome stuff, but the tale of Nobody is really just a fluff piece.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Please sandman!

    by brandon11

    Please tell me there will be a sandman movie. Guillermo del torro could direct. It could be so sweet.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 8:05 a.m. CST


    by brandon11

    Tim Burton has no place making a sandmn movie until he proves himself. He's out of ideas and creativity. Johnny depp would destroy morpheus' image. Sandman would have to be a series. First movie based after first arch and the second one with the meeting of all the different gods regarding the key to he'll

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Great book, and this should be a fun movie

    by Organs

    I think we all need to get over ourselves. Oh, sure, he's better known for Sandman. Yeah, "American Gods" is a great book. Blah blah blah... <br> <br> Here's the thing, though. Both of those are far too dense and long to be justifiably made into a movie. This is something most people don't consider: movies are typically between 90 and 120 minutes, maybe a bit longer. Even if all the right actors were cast, the best director is chosen, and a fine script is made, it still won't translate well. <br> <br> So, why would "The Graveyard Book" make a better movie? It's simple. It's charming. It's got mass appeal. And you can tell the story in under two hours and not be forced to omit any major passages or chapters. <br> <br> So, please. Leave "The Sandman" in its comic book form. Leave "American Gods" in its novel form. Who knows? Maybe if these great works are never made into film, it might just prompt people to actually READ THE DAMN THINGS!!

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST


    by brandon11

    good call. From now on we'll only Make the easy Movies with mass appeal. Those people who thought that movies could target audiences interested in the topic were out if their minds. You're an idiot. Appearently you've forgotten how many great Movies are based on books.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST


    by Organs

    I haven't forgotten. And what does that mean, anyway? "Oh, 'The Shining' turned out well, so we'll do 'American Gods' now." Two totally different books. There's far too many characters and far too much that can go wrong with "American Gods". Just because it's a good book doesn't mean it's under obligation to be made into a movie. <br> You want a challenge for a movie? How about one with an original story? Remember those? There's far more great movies based on nothing more than a writer's script than great movies based on books.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by brandon11

    It is true that there is a lack in original stories but that's a different story. I don't know the other book. But sandman could Be done excellently if precautions are taken... Like not Letting burton touch it. Comic book movies should Be made to do tell an awsome story, do justice to charactors and fans, and basically just be a lot of fun. Think about a sandman done properly showing dream getting his Instruments back and Finally challenging the demon At the end. Then a sequel about the key to hell. Who's to say that stories shouldn't be transfered from Medium to Medium

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by mukhtabi

    I have plenty of original ideas for movies, unfortunately, none of them get past the pitch because 'their too unconventional'. Tinseltown as a whole would much rather adapt literary properties or churn out remakes. Given those choices, I for one would champion attempting to adapt something legendary to the small, intimate screen of the television. Roll out episodes for 9-11 straight weeks at a shot, and give people stuff to marvel at on long winter nights. Its also been proven that if you adapt a property and well advertise said adaptation, people flock to read the stuff. Look what the LOTR and Watchmen movies have done for book sales of both entities. I for one, am game to try and see if I can get someone to pick up the Sandman as television in the parameters listed above.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 10:59 a.m. CST

    I Would Watch Neil Gaiman...

    by ericinwisconsin

    ...crap a big one. Yes, his shit is THAT entertaining.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 1:10 p.m. CST

    Newbury awards

    by oisin5199

    when I was a kid I remember reading Newbury winning books, but my favorite was Lloyd Alexander's The High King, the last book in a series of great Welsh-influenced fairy tales, that to me were the third tier of the Tolkien, Lewis triangle. Anyhow, is this film adaptation live action or another stop-motion? And yes, I would watch or read anything written by Gaiman. I do have high hopes for a good Death film. And there must be a way to do a Sandman film or series. Hopefully, the latter. Even if it's adult animation. But yeah, keep Tim Burton away from it. As far as adaptation goes - the problem with Preludes and Nocturnes is that it's still mired in DC continuity and references(Bronze Age Sandman, Dr. Destiny, Lyta Hall, Cain and Abel, Eve, the Three Witches, etc.). For my money, the best standalone story is A Game of You, but Morpheus only plays a minor role in that one. That's why it would work better as a series with a combination of stand-alones and story arc episodes. Making it a film would lose the books' central qualities.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Regarding "Sandman"...

    by Organs

    There's nothing I can add that hasn't been said by beastie in the 9th post above. I agree with him/her wholeheartedly. When you adapt a written work for a visual medium, unless the producers and directors have the clout and desire to do it faithfully, something will get truncated in the transition. And with Sandman, too much of it is important. And "American Gods" isn't that much less complex. <br> <br> To mukhtabi: that is unfortunate. I'm in Chicago and I can only speak from an audience's perspective. Given what's been coming out of Hollywood lately, one would think they don't trust writers anymore and would rather focus on pre-existing material. <br> I'd still rather not see Sandman visually realized, though. Heck, I'd rather not see Watchmen visually realized! The comic volumes are still in print and that's good enough for me. The problem with adapting anything (and I'm sure I'm stating the obvious) is even if the end result is good and well-done in its own right, people can't help but compare it to the source material, and that's going to affect a good chunk of the public's perception of the visual version. <br> If nothing else, I think I'll look into "Neverwhere", since--if I'm not mistaken--was primarily written for TV. Or was that just Mirrormask?

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Organs and Beastie

    by brandon11

    You say it cant be done. or at least EASILLY done. you guys have already lost hope before anything has even been rpesented. you guys act like there isnt a single innovative or immaginative director... as far as animation, live action, puppets, make-up and so forth. just off the top if my head i immediately think guillermo del torro, george lucas(take it or leave it), etc. too narrow minded to say it cant work. have you seen New Hope or Pan's Labrynth?

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Both properties Organs

    by mukhtabi

    Both Neverwhere and Mirrormask were projects that were done for film/tv. You have an easy choice there Organs, if I should prove successful in the long campaign to set-up such a tv series, don't watch it. Everyone has that choice.I know I exercised it numerous times. I did not watch From Hell, I certainly did not watch League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I haven't watched a number of things I didn't feel right about. I'm also firmly aware of how incapable anyone is of changing anyone else's mind. I won't change your mind and you certainly are not going to convince me to do otherwise. At least one can affirm that the graphic novels were fantastic. Which is of course why they captured this aspiring writer/producer's imagination.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 1:55 p.m. CST


    by Prague23

    Surprised none of you other idiots thought of that.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    RE: mukhtabi and brandon11

    by Organs

    mukhtabi: that is a good point; we're still a ways off from being forced to watch TV shows and movies. I'm tempted to say "It's the principle of the thing!" but I happen to agree with you there. For what it's worth, I avoided From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as well. <br> <br> brandon11: Oh, sure, one can find great directors to do either. Heck, Russel T. Davies of Doctor Who wouldn't be bad as a director. I know, great directors can do great things. It doesn't mean it should be done, though. I know it's what we geeks do, but it's ridiculous to say "Ooh! It can be done this way and that!" with the same giddiness a little girl shows when dressing up her cat and dog for a tea party. <br> <br> See, film, television, novels, comic books, campfire stories, etc. are each very specific mediums. Sometimes a story works very well in one but not so well in another. I'm perfectly content to have "Sandman" as a series of comic volumes. I know I can't stop anyone in Hollywood who decides to shove a written work through the adaptation machine and turn it into a movie or TV show, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. But, as I and mukhtabi have said, I'm not obligated to watch, so I'll have to be content with that.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    A great director for The Sandman would be...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...Guillermo Del Toro. I'd even like to see what Peter Jackson or even Spielberg could do with the character. I'd stay away from the obvious directors like Tim Burton, just because Burton happens to resemble Sandman as he's illustrated.

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Has Tim Burton ever made a faithful adaptation before?

    by Amy Chasing

    Was Big Fish close to the novel? I haven't read it so I don't know. But I always thought Burton was the kind of director who had his own vision and ideas he wanted to get across and so felt fine with doing his own thing in an adaptation. Would people be ok with this if he hypothetically did Sandman? Would Del Toro be any better (he seems another head-strong director)? <P>

  • Jan. 28, 2009, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Where's the.....

    by deaddovedontoeat

    Good Omens movie? I think that's an incredible book, and since Gaiman's on fire now maybe he can get that made, give Terry Pratchett a boost too.

  • Jan. 29, 2009, 8:52 a.m. CST

    by Prague23

    Neil Gaiman videos of him reading the entire novel!

  • Jan. 29, 2009, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Orbots Commander

    by frozen01

    Couldn't agree more... if someone is going to do a Sandman series (you can't just do one) then my man would be Del Toro. <p><p> On a seperate note, I would LOVE to see an American Gods movie. I'm not understanding why people don't think this could be done, especially those who say the scope of AG is only slightly less than Sandman. Sorry, but I have to disagree! The "intelligence" of AG is only slightly less than Sandman, but NOT the scope... it is possible to fit the entire story of AG into a movie, and probably quite comfortably, whereas you could never, ever even contemplate doing that with Sandman. That said, I think it would be hard to translate in a way that would capture the magic of the book (talking about AG here). I'm specifically thinking of the scene involving Bast and the other Egyptian Gods living in modern times under assumed identities. I don't see how you could have that same sort of... subtly?... in the movie that made the book so worth reading without it just going over the heads of anyone who hasn't read the book.

  • Jan. 29, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST


    by frozen01

    YAY! Love it! Good Omens should be made into a movie. That would be so much fun!

  • Jan. 29, 2009, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Well, I'll say this for "American Gods"

    by Organs

    If it were a four-part miniseries, then I think it'd work just fine. Or maybe three part? I forget how the book is divided. I think a story like that needs room to breathe, especially the conversation between Shadow and Wednesday about grifting in the diner. That's important to the story, and if you try to wedge it in a two hour movie while still trying to wedge in all the other details, it'll seem contrived. <br> <br> I stand by my previous sentiments about adapting it, but if it were to be adapted, then that's how I think it should be done.

  • Jan. 29, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by brandon11

    Ok I can see that. But if it could be done, and with justice, why shouldn't it? Yes it's perfectly great on it's own as a comic, however couldn't a movie spark more interest in the series and create a larger fan base? Also, stories have been passed on from medium To medium For years, many good and many bad examples. Sure it's a Gamble, but what if it was sweet? Even if it's bad you still have the books. I just don't see the reasons it should not be done. Shed a new light on the shadow perhaps.