Scottish director Michael Caton-Jones (The Jackal, Memphis Belle) is officially at the helm for the new fantasy epic The Giant Under the Snow, a live-action adaptation of the children’s novel by John Gordon.
The critically acclaimed story, first published in 1968, tells of three children who discover a Celtic buckle in the middle of the woods. Little do they know what powerful and deadly magic they’ve unearthed, accidentally awakening an ancient giant as well as a horde of supernatural evil-doers.
Caton-Jones has much experience directing action/adventures, having worked on projects like Rob Roy (1995) and The Jackal (1997), but the filmmaker hasn’t made waves in American cinema for some time now. His last major U.S. release was the 2006 sequel Basic Instinct 2, after which he focused his energies primarily on UK-based television such as the dramatic mini-series World Without End. His most recent upcoming crime drama, Urban Hymn, is set for UK release this year.
Several classic children’s stories seem to be making their debut as live-action adaptations in 2015, some as original scripts and others as revamps of old adaptations, including Paddington (based on the beloved children’s book character Paddington Bear), Disney’s The Jungle Book (based on Rudyard Kipling’s fabled tale), a competing film at Warner Bros. called Jungle Book: Origins, and Pan (based on J.M. Barrie’s classic boy-hero Peter Pan) headlining the roster this year.
Neil Gaiman, creator of the children’s fantasy novel The Graveyard Book (acquired by Disney in 2012 but currently in production limbo), remains an author weary of Hollywood adaptations, having already witnessed the adaptations of his short stories and novels like Stardust (2007) and Coraline (2009) hitting the big screen. Says Gaiman:
I don’t want to live in a world where every review of [an adaptation] says, “This is a really bad film made from a really wonderful illustrated novel.
The Giant Under the Snow is due for release sometime in 2017, alongside The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair – another example of classic children’s literature-turned-film.