Looks like Henry Selick and his stop-motion film, The Shadow King (previously Shademaker), are still homeless. A few days ago, IndieWire reported that Selick was in talks with his old studio Laika about funding the rest of the production, but it turns out that Laika said turned him away. According to Slash Film, a Laika insider said “the talks went nowhere and Laika will not fund its former director’s project.”
Seems like a sad fate for a film that was just one year from its October 2013 release. It would be a waste for Selick to cut his losses and drop the picture, if The Shadow King really is something worth watching from a visual, story and creative standpoint. Then again, the fact that two studios have turned down the project makes me wonder whether they can see the bigger picture that Selick can’t.
Originally Disney was funding the project, but last month Disney backed out of producing the film for creative and scheduling reasons. Disney’s chairman Alan Horn was willing to take a $50 million write off because the film’s tone was too dark.It’s sad that Selick has been turned away by both of his former studios after producing such hits for each (The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline). Although Selick is still on contract to direct an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book”, so hopefully this experience hasn’t turned him off to heading back to the Mouse House.
What are your thoughts about The Shadow King? Should it be dropped or should Selick keep shopping studios for funding? Let us know in the comments below![UPDATE] According to First Showing, Henry Selick himself confirmed in a memo to his staff at his Cinderbiter studio that The Shadow King is dead…for now. And he hopes work again on the film at a later date.
What a bummer! As we’ve followed this story, it’s been a rollercoaster going from hopefully, deflated, and then to just downright drepressing. I was intrigued about what The Shadow King had to offer. The film was a dark story was about two brothers and “takes Selick’s special brand of surrealism into a new direction.” Guess we’ll never know what the special brand of surrealism really was.