Henry Selick has been unattached to a feature project since Disney busted his Shadow King film last summer. That situation changed today.

Selick has signed on to direct a live-action film based on A Tale Dark and Grimm, a children’s novel by Adam Gidwitz. The film, like the book, will follow Hansel and Gretel who escape their own fairy tale and end up participating in eight other creepy Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales.

“I remain completely enraptured by Adam Gidwitz’ marvelous book A Tale Dark & Grimm,” Selick said in a press statement. “It’s a hilarious, deeply inventive tale about survival in the world of fairy tales and what it takes to forgive one’s parents. So it’s a huge thrill to be joining the team of Kamala Films and FilmNation as the director of the film based on it.”

It would be safe to say that Selick’s best works to date (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline) have been animated. His live-action track record is spottier: the partly-live James and the Giant Peach was generally well received and modestly successful at the box office, while his live-action/animated Monkeybone was a creative trainwreck of epic proportions.

John W. Mann and Jon Gunn (writers on the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations) will adapt the Dark and Grimm screenplay with script input from Selick. The film will be produced by Kamala Films and the distribution company FilmNation.

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