A good long time ago now, plans were afoot adapt Clive Barker‘s fantasy story The Thief Of Always into an animated, musical film, and Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall were producing. ILM were going to provide the animation, much as they later did for Rango. You may have noticed that, ultimately, this film didn’t happen.
Then, over the last decade or so, various other announcements crept out. Shrek sequeliser and Gnomeo and Juliet director Kelly Asbury wrote a screenplay and was attached to direct for several years, but this film never happened either.
Now, though, it’s coming around again.
Barker has posted the following to his Facebook page:
The Thief of Always is being directed as a live action feature by one of my oldest and most creative friends, Oliver Parker. More news to come as this project gets underway.
I suppose that this could still be set up at 20th Century Fox, and it might even be using Asbury’s screenplay, but my hunch, from the involvement of Oliver Parker, is that the film will now be produced in the UK. Hopefully I’ll be able to find out for sure in the next few days, and if I do, I’ll pass the info along.
If you’ve never read Barker’s book – and I would recommend it, more so than any of his other novels, in fact – then here’s little bit of something I’ve shamelessly lifted from the Wikipedia page:
The Thief of Always starts out by introducing Harvey Swick. Harvey Swick is a 10-year-old child who finds himself bored with school, uninteresting teachers, homework, and his day-to-day life. One day, a man named Rictus flies up to Harvey’s window and tells him about a kid’s paradise, the Holiday House. At the Holiday House, there are all the sweets a person could ask for, four seasons in a day, Halloween every evening, Christmas, with whatever gifts you could wish for, every night, and everything else you could dream of. Harvey reluctantly goes to the house after a week of thinking, and enters the house through a wall of mist.
Yes, it’s rather like Coraline, no I don’t think it’s quite as good, but it does stand up and, especially if you’re ten years old or have some memory of what that was like.