Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book Now To Be A Disney Movie; New Jungle Book Coming From Harry Potter Writer

It’s so curious that these two pieces of news should break one after the other. There’s something oddly “bookish” in the air of the film blogosphere tonight.

First up, Deadline scored an exclusive (or so they say) that Steve Kloves, the screenwriter of almost all of the Harry Potter movies, is writing and will direct a new, live-action telling of Rudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book.

And then, in their very next story, Deadline went on to reveal that Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book has come back around, moved home and become a priority film for Disney.

Previously, the project lived with UK FX house Framestore, Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures and Korea’s CJ Entertainment. Neil Jordan was attached to adapt and direct which sounded like a good set-up to me, but it appeared to go a little wrong.

Gaiman criticised Jordan’s early drafts as being too faithful and while was then seeming hopeful that another pass might fix this, ultimately, nothing happened. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you haven’t read the book, you may find this blurb useful:

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place – he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their timely ghostly teachings – like the ability to Fade.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren’t really one thing or the other.

At least now you’ll get why the title was modelled on Kipling.

Despite a couple of early chapters that don’t quite swing as much as most of Gaiman’s stuff, the book is rather splendid. Fully recommended.

Again, there are no more details on the film as yet but if it really is the priority that the report claims, we’re bound to hear more soon.