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Selick to Direct Gaiman’s 'Graveyard Book' for Disney

Disney has acquired the rights to acclaimed author Neil Gaiman’s Newbery Award-winning 2008 youth novel, “The Graveyard Book,” with Henry Selick signed on to direct the stop-motion adaptation.

Moving from the Haunted Mansion to the cemetery, Disney has acquired the rights to acclaimed author Neil Gaiman’s Newbery Award-winning 2008 youth novel, The Graveyard Book.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) will be directing the stop-motion adaptation of Gaiman’s kid-friendly novel, which is still looking for a screenwriter.

The Graveyard Book tells the tale of Nobody Owens, a boy raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens. The young boy has learned the ancient customs of his guardians as well as their ghostly teachings -- like the ability to Fade -- which will come in handy against a mysterious being known as “The Man Jack,” who brutally murdered his family many years ago.

The film adaptation will be produced by veteran Gil Netter, whose credits include Marley & Me, The Blind Side, Water for Elephants, and the upcoming Life of Pi. Joining Netter is producer Ben Browning (It’s Kind of a Funny Story).

The Graveyard Book will likely start production after Selick finishes his first film in a long-term deal with Pixar. The untitled Pixar film is set for release in October, 2013.

Gaiman is best known as the author of the DC/Vertigo comic book series The Sandman, as well as the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel American Gods, which is currently being adapted as a television series for HBO. Film adaptations of his work include Stardust and Selick’s previous film Coraline.

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