Joe Wright is the finest fantasy director who has never actually made a traditional fantasy film. Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, Anna Karenina -- all films that make masterful use of fantasy film elements (lush visuals, impossible romances and larger-than-life characters) without ever going into supernatural or unearthly territory. But now Wright is set to finally dive into the deep end by adapting a new book from the current prince of fantasy storytelling Neil Gaiman.
The novel in question is The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which won't actually be on store shelves until June of 2013. But even though the public hasn't had the chance to read the story yet, the synopsis screams pure Gaiman fantasy:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.
It began for our narrator 40 years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family's car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed -- within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac -- as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
Yep, that sounds exactly like a new book from the guy who wrote Stardust, MirrorMask, The Graveyard Book and American Gods.
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will produce the film alongside Wright's regular producer Paul Webster.
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