Author Neil Gaiman revealed to an MTV reporter this week that his THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is headed for a Hollywood adaptation -- from vfx house Framestore.
"I don't know if I can talk about this, but seeing that you've asked me, and seeing that I haven't been told by anybody that I can't talk about it," Gaiman revealed, "But yes."
Despite a bidding war amongst various studios, some of whom wanted to turn the story about a boy raised by ghosts into an animated feature, Gaiman wanted live action. "I want to see the ghosts for real. I want to be able to touch the graveyard," he said.
Framestore has recently done work recently on everything from THE DARK KNIGHT to THE GOLDEN COMPASS to MAMMA MIA!.
"They want to start making films, and start producing their own films," Gaiman said. "And they read it, and they loved it, and I spoke to them, and they said all the right things, and they seem to listen. So I don't think it's going to be transported to a graveyard in Los Angeles where they've been burying bathing beauties or anything. I think we're actual going to stick with where the book is written and film that. And I think part of the idea is that they know they can also do the special effects cheaply."
Creating the characters, most of whom are "dead, or werewolves, or ghouls, or something else mysterious," will be the challenge. How to achieve them will be "part of the fun of making the film," he said. "There's probably going to be an awful lot of screen tests to figure how you can pull it off in the subtlest, coolest, and most convincing way, and that will be a job for next year."
Gaiman hopes to have the creme de la creme of British actors to play the characters. "There's a part of me that just knows there will be an enormous joy for a director somewhere up the line in casting all these wonderful British actors," Gaiman said, "The same joy they have in the HARRY POTTER films, where you have the cream of English actors all come in and do their three weeks, and I think we're going to have that in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK."
Also similar to HARRY POTTER will be the need to cast a "nobody" as the lead, Nobody Owens. "I think you may want quite a few nobodys to play Nobody," Gaiman said, "Because he gets to age from 2-years-old to 16-years-old in the course of the book."
Gaiman will be a producer on THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, as he did with his other recent book-turned-film, STARDUST.