Ray Bradbury‘s place in literary history is secure, especially since his iconic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 always feels far more timely than we’d like. But soon a very different kind of story of his will make its way to the big screen. Warner Bros. has begun development on a live-action movie of the late author’s 1972 time-traveling fantasy children’s tale The Halloween Tree.
Deadline reports Warner Bros. has chosen Will Dunn to lead an adaptation of Bradbury’s novel. Dunn established himself as part of 20th Century Fox’s Feature Writer Program. He has previously worked with Warner Bros. before, as well as Disney, Sony, and eOne. Charlie Morrison will oversee the project for the management and production company 42.
Random House Children’s Books
If you are unfamiliar with the book, here’s the official synopsis:
“A band of young costumed trick-or-treaters setting out on Halloween find that their leader, Joe Pipkin, is having an emergency appendectomy. They soon discover the Halloween Tree, where Mr. Moundshroud, perhaps a personification of death, is about to harvest Pipkin’s jack-o-lantern. He takes the children with him back in time to learn the histories behind their individual costumes as they seek to help their dear friend. In the process, they just might have a chance to save him.”
Adapting The Halloween Tree will be as challenging as Bradbury’s story is exciting. It spans numerous eras and continents, as the characters travel through time and space. That takes them from ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome to Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and a celebration of Día de Muertos in Mexico. That should make for a thrilling fantasy adventure for viewers, but a big shoot for the studio.
This will not be the novel’s first adaptation, however. Bradbury himself wrote the Emmy-winning screenplay for the 1993 TBS animated film version that was narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The actor played Moundshroud.
Getting to see this story in theaters isn’t the only reason to be excited by this project though. This live-action version could help introduce a whole new generation of readers to Ray Bradbury.
Featured Image: Random House Children’s Books