Entertainment industry website Deadline.com published a report this afternoon that Disney has halted production on the new feature directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline). Selick was producing the film at his new San Francisco-based studio Cinderbiter (aka Shademaker Productions):
The crew on Henry Selick’s untitled stop motion animated film were told this afternoon that Disney is not proceeding with this project. Though the film had no title, it had a October 4, 2013 release date, and about 150 San Francisco-based artists ready to go, so it’s a blow to the animation troops out there. Started shooting last summer, but I’d heard it just wasn’t coming together in a manner that pleased the studio. Selick has been given the chance to take the project to other studios…[I]t’s unclear what this does to his plans to helm Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book,” a project Disney acquired in April.
Is Deadline’s report accurate? If you have details, share them anonymously in the comments or contact me directly.
UPDATE: Local 839 IATSE business rep Steve Hulett confirmed on the animation union blog that Disney contacted the union on Tuesday morning to inform them of the impending shutdown. Hulett wrote, “I have no idea why Henry [Selick]’s project was shut down so deep into production…whatever the actual reason, we’re saddened to see so many animation professionals lose their jobs off a feature that appeared to be in full flight. Here’s hoping that Mr. Selick sets the feature up someplace else and folks can continue working.”
Meanwhile, Variety reported that, “Sources close to the production said from a creative and scheduling standpoint, the pic wasn’t where it needed to be to meet its planned release date and [Disney] decided not to continue production as a result. While the pic had been in production since last summer, Disney had yet to hire thesps to voice characters. Studio also had yet to reveal any artwork from the project during its production or as promotional materials, making it easier for another distributor to pick up the film. ”