the unknown side of what's bumpin' in the trucks

Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are overcomes monstrous delays

In posse on 2009/03/22 at 8:29 am

Touched on this a while back and very happy to see it actually happening…


by Adam McDowell for The National Post

Sure, some kids find the classic Where the Wild Things Are scary, but do you know what keeps movie studio executives awake at night? Spending US$80-million on an adaptation that never sees the light of day. It almost happened. To mark the release this week of the poster above, we summarize  the monsters’ long journey from the Land of the Wild Things to Hollywood.

1963  Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, about the imaginary creatures who inhabit the mind of a boy named Max, is published by Harper & Row. In subsequent years, the popular book terrifies some children and delights others. 

2000  The Grinch carries a teaser for a WTWTA live-action film adaptation by Spike Jonze (director of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation). It’s to be released by Universal Pictures. 

Late 2006  Principal photography for WTWTA finally takes place in Australia (the movie is now with Warner Bros. following a fallout with Jonze). The creatures will be actors in foam suits with CGI faces. Th ecast includes Catherine Keener, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O’Hara and James Gandolfini, who may or may not wear a costume. 

January, 2007  Because seven-year-olds really dig the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O revealed as soundtrack composer. 

October, 2007  New York magazine gets a copy of the script by Jonze and author/publisher Dave Eggers; declares it “really, really good.”

February, 2008 reports rumours that an unhappy Warner Bros. wants the entire film reshot. 

July 2008  The Los Angeles Times reports that “something has gone very wrong” with the production. Warner Bros. chief Alan Horn quashes rumours Jonze has been kicked off the project: “We’ve given him more money and, even more importantly, more time for him to work on the film. We’d like to find a common ground that represents Spike’s vision but still offers a film that really delivers for a broad-based audience … The jury is still out on this one. But we remain confident that Spike is going to figure things out and at the end of the day we’ll have an artistically compelling movie.”

Oct. 16, 2009  Expected release date for Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are.

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  1. yeah yeah yeah!!!

    I am so excited for this gem to surface!

  2. my favorite book as a kid! maybe all the dough to shoot it again will be worth it.

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