While Disney has eagerly scooped up previously established entertainment franchises in recent years, its in-house work has left much to be desired lately. That may change with The Stuff of Legend, a graphic novel which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will be adapted for the big screen by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (Saw IV-VI, Piranha 3D) and directed by Peter Candeland, who has a history in animation but will be making his feature directorial debut.
In the graphic novel, written by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith, the Boogeyman kidnaps a young boy and imprisons him in a realm called The Dark. In response, the family dog rounds up all of the boy’s favorite toys to mount a rescue mission. Inside The Dark, the toys come alive with working weapons and grow to life size. The pitch sounds somewhere in between Toy Story and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and while we’re not going to doubt Disney’s capabilities it’s not like they’re sitting on a catalogue of successful horror films. Given the choice in screenwriters, it seems unlikely that Disney will water down any disturbing turns that the narrative takes. While The Stuff of Legend will be produced by Mandeville Films, the closest Mandeville has come to horror was 2013’s Warm Bodies, a romantic comedy starring a zombie.
Animation studio Laika has, in recent years, found critical success with kid-friendly, but still disturbing, horror films with Coraline and Paranorman. While no release date has been set for The Stuff of Legend, audiences can look forward to Disney’s stab at the genre sometime in the not-too-distant future.