HOLLYWOOD — Indie animation house Vinton Studios has made a preemptive high-six-figure deal for the rights to children’s novel “The Wall and the Wing,” with Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”) attached to direct the project as a CGI feature.
The magical adventure book will be published by HarperCollins in 2006.
Vinton has been putting a number of projects into development since it was acquired by former Nike topper Phil Knight in 2003 and decided to move away from its work on TV shows like “The PJ’s” and into features.
Knight is committed to finance up to 50% of the cost of its pics, which company hopes to produce for between $40 million and $60 million.
“The Wall and the Wing” is the first title brought to the studio by newly hired literary scout Fiona Kenshole, who is actively seeking children’s properties for the studio.
“This is a perfect fit since it already has the scale of a movie and it has a wonderful sense of humor,” said Selick. Helmer said he’ll likely co-direct along with another Vinton staffer.
Studio has five properties in development and is looking to acquire rights to several more books.
Selick is developing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline,” which he will write and direct.
Vinton will also work on an animated feature version of Roald Dahl’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” for Revolution. Wes Anderson is currently scripting with Noah Baumbach and is attached to helm.
CEO Jeff Farnath said Vinton will soon begin talks with major studios in hopes of signing a long-term distribution deal similar to Pixar’s pact with Disney.