It seemed as though Henry Selick‘s (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) stop-motion project–The Shadow King–was dead after Disney backed out of production and LAIKA turned it down. But tides have changed for Selick and the project has been officially resurrected.
According to Coming Soon, Selick has teamed up K5 International. Regarding K5, Selick said, “K5 is the perfect presenter for The Shadow King– they appreciate the film’s exciting blend of the fantastic and personal with its mix of humor, scares, and moments of sweetness. We can’t wait to get back into production.”
According to the press release, K5 picked up the project because they “immediately realized that The Shadow King is a fantastic and exciting prospect that needed to find the support. To offer our help to Henry’s brilliance as a storyteller is an absolute pleasure for us. And it also demonstrates K5’s commitment to bringing bigger and bolder projects to the market.” With K5’s help, Selick is currently shopping the film at the European Film Market in Berlin.
Selick provided an official synopsis of The Shadow King, which he wrote himself:
Hap Dagger, a nine-year-old orphan, hides his fantastically weird hands from a cruel world. But when a Living Shadow Girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come alive, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous Monster who could destroy Hap’s brother and all of New York.
The voice cast consists of Jaden Betts (voice of Hap), Pamela Adlon (voice of Richard), Brendon Glesson (voice of Darce), Jeffrey Tambor (voice of Cuzzie Bell), and Catherine o’Hara (voice of Miss Fern).
Selick is slated as the film’s writer, with John Penn (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Sarah Serata producing. Other production crew includes Peter Sorg as Cinematographer (Frankenweenie, Coraline), Eric Leighton (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’hoole) as Animation Supervisor, Lou Romano as Production Designer (The Incredibles), Wyatt Jones as Editor (Immortals, Rango), and Bruno Coulais (Coraline) as composer. Some of the crew has worked with Selick before, while others are very talented players in the industry. Selick definitely has a grade-A team behind him.
The Shadow King was originally set for a Fall 2013 release date, but has been pushed back to 2014. One of the reasons Disney shut the project down was because the film was behind schedule. It’s unsure how much of the film was animated, but now Selick and his team can finally get back in the studio and finish what they started!
In addition to a plot synopsis, we were given our first look at the film. Check it out below.
Are you excited to see The Shadow King back in production? Let us know in the comments!