29 July 2006

Shooting Spiderwick in September

The Spiderwick Chronicles, by Caldecott Honoree Tony DiTerlizzi and Norton Award winner Holly Black, is a recent fantasy series that transcended its initial impression (to me, at least) of Harry Potter dressed up in Lemony Snicket packaging. It never got deep, I thought, but it got darker than I expected, and many of the fantastic details are truly chilling. I think my favorite is how goblins stick broken glass, metal, and stones in their gums in place of teeth.

The inevitable movie adaptation has come from the word processor of John Sayles, of all people. The director will be Mark Waters, best known for the superior remake of Freaky Friday. In May, Hollywood North Report ran an interview with Waters in which he said:

For Spiderwick in particular, the reason I'm talking to you is because we're heading into the big unknown of finding these identical twin brothers and you're just not going to find identical twins who have acting experience and are ages 9-11 that have the look and the quality that is necessary for this movie.
Translated, that meant the Sprouse twins had no chance at the roles.

But Waters evidently gave up on finding North American twins who could act, and chose a young British actor who has the chops to act for two: Freddie Highmore of Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Highmore looks right, too. Older sister Mallory the fencer will be played by Sarah Bolger of Jim Sheridan's exercise in personal nostalgia, In America--another young actor from the British isles. Will the script be rewritten to make the children British? Or will there be dialogue coaches galore when shooting starts in September?

More news via Waters and Hollywood North Report:
I know that Tony and Holly are writing another trilogy on top of these five, which means the (people) we cast in the movie could most likely be in more movies down the line if it becomes a big franchise.

1 comment:

fusenumber8 said...

Personally I have an affection for the original Freaky Friday that will never be replaced by that slick new adaptation. "Superior"? Jodie Foster will never be beaten by that upstart Lindsay Lohan, no matter what people say. Now to go put in my dentures and yell at the pigeons outside my window.