Trying to predict what Joe Wright will do next is a fool’s errand. The director has moved effortlessly from literary adaptations (“Pride & Prejudice“) to WWII sagas (“Atonement“) to assassin thrillers (“Hanna“) to Powell & Pressburger-styled melodrama (“Anna Karenina“) with ease. But making a fantasy has long been an itch he’s been eager to scratch, and a new version of “The Little Mermaid” was once something he was eager to do (though the recent run of fairy tales movies has taken a bit of his enthusiasm out of doing it). But now he’s latched onto something that could finally see him take on the fantasy genre.
Deadline reports that Focus Features and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman‘s Playtone are snapping up the rights to Neil Gaiman‘s upcoming novel “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane,” and Joe Wright is attached to direct. Sounds perfect to us. And the description of the book makes it sound like there will be plenty of opportunity for the always visually inventive Wright to have a lot of fun:
The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.
It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac — as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
No word yet on who is actually adapting the book and writing the script, so this could still be a bit of a ways off. But nonetheless, it’s pretty damn exciting for both Wright and Gaiman fans alike.