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The Shadow King

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The Shadow King
File:The Shadow King.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byHenry Selick
Produced byJosh Penn
Written byHenry Selick
Music byBruno Coulais
CinematographyPeter Sorg
Edited byWyatt Jones
Distributed byK5 International
Release date
CountryUnited States

The Shadow King is an upcoming 3D stop motion dark fantasy thriller film written and directed by Henry Selick. Initially, Walt Disney Pictures made plans to release the project, but eventually dropped out after spending a reported $50 million on it,[1] leaving Selick to proceed without Disney, but with a plot and voice cast.[2]


The Shadow King is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.

— Press release by Henry Selick, as cited.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]



After the success of his stop motion film Coraline, director Selick was brought into Pixar and given a four-picture deal.[5] He wrote his own script for a story about a young orphan in New York City who has hands with unusually long fingers which the child hides from others. When the child is taught how to make "amazing hand shadows that come to life", they become his weapons in a shadow war against a monster intent on killing the child's brother and ultimately, New York as well. The film began pre-production in 2011,[6] with an expected release date of October 2013.[7]


After spending a reported $50 million, and due to unspecified concerns over future costs and benefits, Walt Disney Pictures canceled the project in August 2012,[7][8] allowing Selick to shop the project to other studios.[6] In February 2013, it was reported in a press release by Selick that K5 International would be handling sales at the European Film Market.[3] It is unknown when the film will actually be released. In August 2016, a rep for Selick said the film is "in turnaround again" while Selick is continuing work on his other two projects: A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Wendell and Wild.[9]


  1. "Selick's 'Shadow King' Finds New Life". Animation Magazine. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  2. "Henry Selick's The Shadow King proceeding without Disney, but with a plot and voice cast". The A.V. Club. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Goldberg, Matt (February 5, 2013). "Henry Selick's THE SHADOW KING Finally Moves Forward; Plot Synopsis Revealed". Collider. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Han, Angie (5 February 2013). "First Look at Henry Selick's 'The Shadow King;' Voice Cast Includes Brendan Gleeson and Jeffrey Tambor". Slash film. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  5. LeBlanc, Will (April 1, 2010). "Henry Selick Bringing Stop-Motion Back To Disney". Cinemablend. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 staff (February 4, 2013). "Henry Selick revives 'Shadow King': Josh Penn produces stop-motion project". Variety. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bettinger, Brendan (August 14, 2012). "Disney Cancels Production on Henry Selick's Untitled Stop-Motion Movie". Collider.com.
  8. Fritz, Ben (September 13, 2012). "Disney takes $50 million write-down on canceled animation project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  9. Rome, Emily (August 25, 2016). "'Kubo' studio Laika moves forward while 'Coraline' fans wait for the next project from Henry Selick". Retrieved February 19, 2017.

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