Like Nobody Owens, the orphan at the centre of Neil Gaiman’s charming The Graveyard Book, the book has had trouble finding a proper home on the screen. Neil Jordan adopted it back in 2009, but nothing happened. Then Henry Selick targeted it as his next stop-motion project for Disney, but it would appear that has now been scrapped. But fear not for the residents of the graveyard, because Ron Howard is now in negotiations to direct a live-action version.
Though we must admit our hearts ache a little for what could have been under Selick’s precise, fantastical stop-motion direction (after all, he brought Gaiman’s Coraline to magical life), Howard is certainly no slacker when it comes to delivering the onscreen goods.
He’ll now oversee the development of a fresh script about Nobody (or Bod, as he’s usually known), his adventures with the ghosts who care for him and the serial killer named the Man Jack. It's all a macabre spin on The Jungle Book, and has already established itself as a children's classic. The book rightly won both the Carnegie and Newberry Medals for children’s fiction in 2008 and deserves an amazing adaptation.
Howard’s latest, James Hunt racing biopic Rush, screams into cinemas on September 13. More on The Graveyard Book as we get it.