The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Henry Selick planning new stop-motion Neil Gaiman adaptation

Coraline director Henry Selick is planning to make a stop-motion adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane


Fifteen years ago, writer/director Henry Selick brought the world a stop-motion animated adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novella Coraline – and now, Variety confirmed, he’s planning to make another Gaiman-inspired movie. This time, Selick will be bringing the story of Gaiman’s novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which Selick considers to be the author’s crowning achievement, to the screen. Hanna director Joe Wright was attached to direct a live-action adaptation of the novel back in 2013, but that never made it into production.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane has the following description: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.

Selick told Variety that he sees The Ocean at the End of the Lane as a sort of companion piece to Coraline and “almost a sequel” because, “Instead of a child going to this other world with a monstrous mother, it’s a monstrous mother who comes into our world to wreak havoc on a kid’s life.

Selick has written a 35-page treatment for the film and has a bunch of artwork and concept designs at the ready, and he’s using these things to shop the project around.

More than a decade ago, Selick was working on a project called The Shadow King for Pixar and The Walt Disney Company. Although Disney cancelled the project in 2012 after putting $50 million into it, Selick got the rights to The Shadow King back in 2022 and Variety mentions that he is now planning to resurrect the story as a graphic novel – which he hopes to use as a proof-of-concept for a film that he would still like to see be made.

In addition to Coraline, Selick’s other directing credits include The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, Monkeybone, and Wendell & Wild.

Would you like to see Henry Selick get The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Shadow King made? Share your thoughts on these projects by leaving a comment below.

Source: Variety

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.