Joe Wright is one of those directors I will follow anywhere. Anyone who can direct a version of Pride and Prejudice that actually entertains me is a special director. He even proved his action chops with Hanna. Now he is moving into the realm of the fantastical by adapting one of geek culture’s greatest writers. Joe Wright has signed on to adapt Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
The Gaiman book hits stores in June and is about “memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.”
The narrator describes a tale that begins when he was seven and a 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 duck pond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
This sounds a lot like a Neil Gaiman story and nothing like a Joe Wright movie. The last movie Wright directed was the adaptation of Anna Karenina, where he painted a film that was like nothing I have ever seen before. The guy is mad talented, so I will trust him wherever he leads me. Gaiman’s last few movies were all great in their own right, with the wonderfully animated Coraline, the fantastic Matthew Vaughn directed Stardust and very impressive mo-cap Beowulf.
Joe Wright is also signed on to direct The Secret Life of Houdini, so it is unclear which he will tackle first.