The L A Times reports that Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are has apparently been removed from the Warner Bros. release schedule. Scripted by Dave Eggars, Wild Things, which finished principle photography in the second half of 2006, has been under steady assault since its reportedly abysmal research screening in December of last year in which children are said to have walked out on the movie in tears.
Wild Things is a potentially dark material to begin with and no doubt poses a challenge to Jonze to walk the line between childhood wonder and childhood fear of monsters.
One of the problems may be the star Max Records whose portrayal of the movie’s lead, also named Max, appears to be being perceived as mean spirited rather than likable and mischievous.
Re-shoots have also been an issue with some of the originally live action shoots having to be converted to CGI.
Rumors have been swarming about impending doom for Where The Wild Things Are but Warner chief Alan Horn has shown strong support for Jonze and the project in an interview with Patrick Goldstein of The Big Picture Blog. He denied all rumours that Jonze has been taken off the picture saying: “We’ve given him more money and, even more importantly, more time for him to work on the film,” Horn said. “We’d like to find a common ground that represents Spike’s vision but still offers a film that really delivers for a broad-based audience. We obviously still have a challenge on our hands. But I wouldn’t call it a problem, simply a challenge. No one wants to turn this into a bland, sanitized studio movie. This is a very special piece of material and we’re just trying to get it right.”
Horn went on to say: “We try to take a few shots,” he said. “Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. The jury is still out on this one. But we remain confident that Spike is going to figure things out and at the end of the day we’ll have an artistically compelling movie.”