Some of you may be very aware and excited about the Where the Wild Things Are movie being made by Spike Jonze. Some of you might not even have the slightest clue what Where the Wild Things Are is, which would make me feel very old. Damn kids and your child explorers and sponges-wearing pants — what is that about? Either way, there are some rough roads on the horizon for the adaptation of the classic children’s book.
For those of you who are clueless — Where the Wild Things Are follows the young boy Max who is sent to his room by his mom where he then creates this fantastical world of monsters where he is King. It was originally a book by Maurice Sendak and is being adapted into a feature film starring Catherine Keener, Benicio Del Toro, Forest Whitaker, Lauren Ambrose, Catherine O’Hara, and James Gandolfini. The film, which is to be a mixture of voice roles, live-action puppetry, and computer animation, was orignally going to be released in 2000-2001, but was shelved. Then it was moved to 2008, but now, according to /Film, it was pushed to October 16, 2009.
The new 2009 release date would make sense if what CHUD reported last week is true — that Warner Bros. had become rather uncomfortable with where the film is going. The suits don’t like the kid playing Max (Max Records) and thought that he might come off as unlikable and that the film was becoming too dark and scary for a “kids” movie. WB is currently thinking about actually scrapping the entire $75 Million movie and RESHOOTING it to make it more kid-friendly. There’s no confirmation at this time about the reshoot, but that far-off release date makes it seem likely to happen.
Spike Jonze is a great director (he also co-write the screenplay with Dave Eggers) and from the images I have seen and from this VERY early test footage hosted at MovieWeb (it’s here below, along with Jonze’s official statement on it), matched with the memories of my childhood, I was incredibly excited about this movie. Surely most of the really big fans of the book are probably a lot older now and an older, darker turn on it would be more successful than any cheesy kids movie they could do with it; hell I think it was BORN to grow with us and become a great Adult Fantasy that just happens to involve a kid!
If this reshoot happens, it would be a bad, bad decision… mark my words. Join with me as I beg Warner to stop being ridiculous, REMEMBER what happened with Exorcist: The Beginning or whatever that remake-prequel nonsense was; let Spike Jonze do his dance and watch it shine.
EARLY TEST FOOTAGE
Director Spike Jonze’s official response to the leaked test footage:That was a very early test with the sole purpose of just getting some footage to Ben our vfx (visual effects) supervisor to see if our vfx plan for the faces would work. The clip doesn’t look or feel anything like the movie, the Wild Thing suit is a very early cringy prototype, and the boy is a friend of ours Griffin who we had used in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video we shot a few weeks before. We love him, but he is not in the actually film…Oh and that is not a wolf suit, its a lamb suit we bought on the internet. Talk to you later… – Spike