Neil Gaiman. Photo: AP

Neil Gaiman. Photo: AP



Reincarnation is par for the course in the mystical world of Twin cities area writer Neil Gaiman. His popular 2009 Newbery Medal winning children’s fantasy “The Graveyard Book” has been on the verge of life as a film a couple of times in the past. The story, following an orphan raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves and other spooks inhabiting a cemetery, was under development by Miramax Films with writer/director Neil (“The Crying Game”) Jordan at the helm shortly. When the project expired, “Harry Potter” director Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures and CJ Entertainment (the South Korean studio behind “The Host,” “Thirst” and “Mother”) joined forces to try anew. That effort expired as well.

Now film industry sources report Gaiman’s book is getting a new lease on life from Disney Studios. The subject matter feels a bit ghoulish for the House of Mouse, whose excursions into occult themes rarely reach beyond a token wicked witch. Given the success of Gaiman’s partnership with stop-motion genius Henry Selick on their visually delightful animated hit “Coraline,” however, there may be reason to hope for another collaboration. After all, Selick directed the Tim Burton-produced “Nightmare Before Christmas” for Disney.

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