Tom Hanks and his Playtone Pictures are to continue their relationship with Neil Gaiman beyond the in-development American Gods TV series. As per Deadline, they’ve now option Gaiman’s upcoming novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, with an eye to making a movie of it.
The story includes some kind of plot blurb, though it’s not very plotty:
It’s about about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. The narrator describes a tale that begins when he was seven and a lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.
Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
Perhaps surprisingly, Joe Wright is attached to direct the film. I guess it does sound a little like some of his other work, in so much as he’s been interested in some of these ideas.
Presumably for Wright to be attached, he’s read the book – which isn’t published until June. I refuse to be jealous about that, and instead will focus on how Wright now no longer has a first read to look forward to.
There’s no word on who might adapt the book into a screenplay. It’s not inconceivable that Gaiman would so so himself – his Death & Me script was a corker – but I expect a third party will be contracted soon enough. There can’t possibly be enough time in Gaiman’s schedule for him to write this story all over again now, can there?