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 also 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 so 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).
It was speculated back in 2009 that Selick could be tackling The Graveyard Book when he revealed he had another Gaiman project coming up.
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.