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Updated! Will the cancelled stop motion project from Coraline director Henry Selick be rescued by Laika Entertainment?

09.27.2012

Henry Selick in a red shirt

Update: "no" is the answer to the question posed in the title of this article. According to an internal memo sent by Selick around to his employees and collaborators at the stop-motion studio Cinderbiter, the project (now being called THE SHADOW KING) is altogether gone.  According to Selick, Travis Knight (head of Laika Entertainment) "couldn't figure out budgeting to pull this project in and had to pass."  It's possible the project might come back at some point in the future, but considering the sort of time stop-motion requires? I wouldn't plan on it.

When last we heard, Henry Selick had left Portland's Laika Entertainment to join Pixar/Disney and form his own stop-motion animation studio called Cinderbiter in San Francisco. Everything about the split was amicable, a fact that may just come around to save Selick after Disney cancelled his latest original piece of stop-motion animation. Once upon a time titled SHADEMAKER, Selick's latest was deemed by Disney to be "too dark" and "moving too slowly" and saw cancellation just last month despite the studio having already dropped $50 million on the project.

But when a project such as this is cancelled the creator is allowed by Disney to shop their project around elsewhere, and Selick may have found welcoming arms in Laika Entertainment.  Discussions are currently under way for the studio to assist Selick with the completion of his film that was originally meant to release October 4th, 2013.  There's no word yet as to what this means for Selick's planned adaptation of Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK for Disney or Laika's planned adaptation of GOBLINS.

It has been rumored of SHADEMAKER that it "is the story of two brothers, and that it takes Selick's special brand of surrealism into a new direction."

Henry Selick and Tim Burton on NBC set

Henry Selick and Tim Burton on the NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS SET.  Literally, in Selick's case.

Extra Tidbit: CORALINE was originally meant to be a musical, with ten new songs written and performed by THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS. But when the movie shifted towards having a darker tone, all of the songs (but one) were cut.

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