Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Tollbooth Returns!

Your humble Dragonmaster's parent company, Electric Pirates Entertainment, has, from virtually the microsecond of its founding, wanted to make the ideal film version of one of the most unusual children's books of all time --- The Phantom Tollbooth! It is written elsewhere here in this Diary of Magecraft concerning the original film version's tragicomic behind-the-scenes saga, wherein the powers then in vogue at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer delayed the intended release of Chuck Jones' film version (which Norton Juster has said he is not entirely fond of), and then, dealt Jones a coup de grace by firing him and the team of animators they'd hired to bring Tollbooth alive on the screen!

Since then, several other attempts to bring
The Phantom Tollbooth back into the limelight have been mounted. Most have stumbled at the starting gate --- until now. This, then, from's Dustin Rowles:

Gary Ross is a director whose name gets associated with a lot more projects than he's actually directed --- for such a supposedly in-demand director, he's not exactly prolific. He's helmed exactly two movies since 1998 --- Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, yet his name nevertheless remains attached to the Venom spin-off, and he was behind a re-write for the now-dead Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire version of Spider-Man 4.

In addition to Matt Helm and Tokyo Suckerpunch (among others), you can now add this one to the list of features he's currently developing: The Phantom Tollbooth, a remake of the 1969 Chuck Jones animated/live-action feature based upon the 1961 children's book by Norton Juster.

Ross is producing his own hybrid live-action/animated fantasy remake with Warner Bros. and his own production company, Larger Than Life Productions, as a project he himself hopes to direct. Alex Tse (Watchmen) wrote the potential first draft screenplay, but Warners and Ross are currently seeking out another take on the treatment prior to moving it ahead.

The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of Milo, a young boy who finds a mysterious package containing a magical tollbooth which transports him into the enchanting Kingdom of Wisdom, which he must restore to its proper glory by rescuing the Princesses Rhyme and Reason from a dark, evil power that threatens the land's destruction.

Ross most recently scripted the remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon for producer Carl Rinsch, and is currently putting together The Crusaders, with Tobey Maguire; and the Civil War drama The Free State of Jones, which he's scheduled to write and direct.

(Source: The Hollywood Cog)

We look forward to seeing how Gary Ross handles The Phantom Tollbooth. One thing's for sure: the visual effects better be nice and properly digital!


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