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P.J. Hogan set to direct comic adaptaion of Jeff Smith's Bone

01.19.2012
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Director P.J. Hogan (Peter Pan) has signed on to direct the long-gestating adaptation of Jeff Smith’s comic series BONE with a script from Patrick Sean Smith (ABC's Greek). BONE ran from 1991 to 2004 and won many awards, including ten Eisner awards. The series has kind of a cult status and was predominantly self published by Smith.

Warner brothers secured the rights back in 2008, probably really not knowing what the hell they got themselves into. On the surface, BONE looks like a cute, cuddly “Casper-the-ghost” type comic that would appeal to kids of all ages, but it’s actually a multi-layered story with a lot of thematic undertones. Smith calls it “mostly for adults — a kids’ book that wasn’t necessarily for kids.”

Here’s one of many synopsis’ of the book:

Three modern cartoon cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, spending a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. Their many adventures include crossing the local people in The Great Cow Race, and meeting a giant mountain lion called RockJaw: Master of the Eastern Border. They learn about sacrifice and hardship in The Ghost Circles and finally discover their own true natures in the climatic journey to The Crown of Horns.

I’ve never read Bone so I can’t say anything about the source material, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. It’s widely considered a classic work, along the lines of Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

In short, there’s a lot of pressure not to f*ck it up.

There’s no official word on how Hogan will tackle the project, either 2D, 3D, or a hybrid of both, although it is being produced by Animal Logic, the animation house behind HAPPY FEET 2. Warner Brothers has created some test footage, which creator Jeff Smith commented on back in July to Hero Complex:

“I’m a comic book guy, I’m not a movie guy,” he explained, adding that he’s “actually excited about the movie for the first time in a long time” after having seen a four-minute “Bone” short recently put together by Warner Bros. “Fone Bone was falling in the water and going through cliffs and canyons. The dragon moved in from off camera in the shadows with smoke around him, all in 3-D. It was pretty mind-blowing,” said Smith, who estimates that the earliest a “Bone” film would be done is two years from now.”

Guess we’ll see if Hogan can make it work. Otherwise, I’m sure we’ll announce his replacement within the next six months or so.

Extra Tidbit: Jeff Smith's other comic series, RASL, a more adult-oriented book, is also being adapted by Warner Brothers. Anyone read it?

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4:54PM on 01/19/2012

Another plea to WB and Peter Hogan

DO NOT F**K THIS UP!!! Personally, I think this would work a lot better as a trilogy or an HBO mini-series, given the complexity of the story. And yes, it's a classic for very good reason. I love it, and so do my nephews and nieces.
DO NOT F**K THIS UP!!! Personally, I think this would work a lot better as a trilogy or an HBO mini-series, given the complexity of the story. And yes, it's a classic for very good reason. I love it, and so do my nephews and nieces.
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3:03PM on 01/19/2012
This is easily one of the best comic/ fantasy stories I've ever read. But I have to agree with DeadAce the story is just sooo huge in scope and length. I don't even think a trilogy would do it justice. But i'm still super excited to see what they can do with it.
This is easily one of the best comic/ fantasy stories I've ever read. But I have to agree with DeadAce the story is just sooo huge in scope and length. I don't even think a trilogy would do it justice. But i'm still super excited to see what they can do with it.
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12:40PM on 01/19/2012
My favorite comic series, it's absolutely wonderfull! I so hope they don't fuck it up! The problem is the scale of the story that they are probably going to shoehorn into a 1.5 hour animated flick! A trilogy would be the way to do it justice, but that probably won't happen! Still can't wait!!! :)
My favorite comic series, it's absolutely wonderfull! I so hope they don't fuck it up! The problem is the scale of the story that they are probably going to shoehorn into a 1.5 hour animated flick! A trilogy would be the way to do it justice, but that probably won't happen! Still can't wait!!! :)
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11:43AM on 01/19/2012
I LOVE this strip. Still can't believe it's happening. I hope Smith doesn't let them screw it up . . .
I LOVE this strip. Still can't believe it's happening. I hope Smith doesn't let them screw it up . . .
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