The great news is that Garth Nix’s megaselling fantasy novel, Sabriel — the first book in his Old Kingdom Trilogy — may be filmed at last. Nix, who, as an ex-literary agent, has considerable knowledge of the industry and the clout of a string of bestselling books behind him, has put together a “dream-team” to bring the book to Hollywood — including co-screenplay writer Dan Futterman (actor and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Capote), and producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner at Plan B (Brad Pitt’s company). The director will be Anand Tucker (Shopgirl, Hilary and Jackie). The full story of the long journey so far can be read on Publishing News Online.
Sabriel is an excellent novel — a fantasy … and a dark one. It deals with necromantic magic, the Land of the Dead and hordes of ghosts and zombies (or, as Garth prefers, “the disturbed dead” — no cannibalistic Romeroesque types here). It remains one of my favourite modern fantasy novels. Here is a description of the story from Nix’s website.
Sabriel is the daughter of the Mage Abhorsen. Ever since she was a tiny child, she has lived outside the Wall of the Old Kingdom – far away from the uncontrolled power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won’t stay dead. But now her father is missing and Sabriel is called upon to cross back into that world to find him. Leaving the safety of the school she has known as home, Sabriel embarks upon a quest fraught with supernatural dangers, with companions she is unsure of – for nothing is as it seems within the boundary of the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life, and comes face to face with her hidden destiny…
Garth has often mentioned his hopes for this film, so it’s fantastic that he has been able to secure the commitment of some top-notch people in the business, ready to pitch the package to the studios later this month. I, along with the rest of his writing friends and hordes of salivating fans, will await the outcome of the negotiations with keen interest.