Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas) is known for his dark, yet playful animated features which depict gothic themes in a friendly and satirical form. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Selick is taking a break from the animated world, to create the live-action film A Tale Dark & Grimm.
While not animated, the film seems to be very much of the same style, based on Adam Gidwitz’s novel of the same name. The story features two youths who stray from their own fairytale, only to find themselves lost in several others, heavily drawing upon by the classic tales from the brothers Grimm, hence the title. Here’s the official synopsis from the first novel of the series, which the film will presumably be based on:
Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time , fairy tales were awesome.
At an educated guess, the film will probably be quite a smooth transition for Henry. The story will allow him to stick to and develop the same dark and Gothic themes, while retaining and adapting that visual style to live-action. Henry’s animated features are incredibly unique and entertaining; it certainly seems like he’s earned his first steps into the world of live-action features, and I sincerely hope it goes well for the talented film-maker. More news as it comes.