Henry Selick continues to wait for Disney to release his shelved movie, “The Shadow King”

Collider’s own Alyse Wax had the opportunity to meet the creator and chat while on the set of Henry Selick’s most recent film, Wendell and Wild, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. Wax was able to secure an exclusive interview with director Henry Selick, who has worked on everything from previous films like James and the Giant Peach to his current project with one of horror’s newest talents, Jordan Peele. This interview may give ardent Selick fans some hope for the director’s next endeavors. Are there survivors of The Shadow King? Nope? That’s because it was abandoned before it could be implemented.

In the early 1980s, Selick collaborated with Disney on such beloved films as The Black Cauldron and The Fox and the Hound. When Selick enrolled in painting school, he met a young Tim Burton, and the two later established their own small production company. Years later, Burton would rejoin their collaboration and sell to Disney, making it possible for the pair to work together to produce the Oscar-nominated The Nightmare Before Christmas. Disney had never attempted anything as darkly innovative as Nightmare before, and Selick’s collaboration with the master of the macabre in 1993 established stop-motion animation as a major form of animation. The renowned animator has largely stayed out of the spotlight since his work on 2009’s Coraline, which he directed as an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel.

Animator Selick submitted an idea for a film he had written, initially called The Shadow King, after being hired by Disney Pixar in 2010. Disney ultimately rejected the proposal as “too weird”. However, the company was initially given the go-ahead in 2011 with a variety of sculptors and designers on board to bring Selick’s next masterpiece to life. Walt Disney reportedly invested $50 million in Selick’s proposal, but after a year of work on sketches, sets and casts and a fully developed plot, they abruptly shelved it due to concerns about future costs. It may not have been a coincidence that this was a watershed moment for Disney, as customers saw the corporation refocus on established franchises and make money on merchandise. The Shadow King was simply too dark to market to children, at least from a commercial standpoint. (Hot topic and Disney would like to talk.)
In the first authorized synopsis of the film:

“The Shadow King is a delightfully enchanted story about ‘Hap,’ a nine-year-old New York orphan who hides his fabulously strange, long-fingered hands from a terrible world. However, when taught by a living shadow girl how to create fantastical and realistic hand shadows, her hands transform into amazing weapons in a shadow battle against a ravenous monster who wants to kill Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroy New York. York.

Selick attempted to promote the production of The Shadow King for a brief time in 2013, but failed. A cast of artists, including Jaden Betts as main character Hap, Pamela Adlon (King of the Hill), Brendan Gleeson, Catherine O’Hara, and Jeffrey Tambor, were also suggested to voice the film. The Shadow King’s budget once again proved to be the undoing of him.

Read more:-

Selick stated in an interview with Wax, “I had a concept for Disney Pixar that was shut down because it was just too weird for them, called The Shadow King, and I got the rights back. After many years, the animation master could finally show his work to his fans. “A really great narrative,” he said of The Shadow King. It’s like Dumbo,” he continued, explaining how the young man feels different because of his unusual hands. He did not guarantee that the film would be finished and released, but he told Wax that it is “something [he’d] love to resurrect” when talking about it.

Check out Wendell and Wild on Netflix this October as we wait for Selick’s long-lost passion project to finally come to light. Check out the video below to see some of the finished talent from The Shadow King and a short segment from the film:
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Mark Hamill plays Luke Skywalker.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is “even more proud” of the film five years later.

Leave a Comment