The Hidden Website for Neil Gaiman\'s Stardust Movie

 Skrevet av Alexander G. Rubio - Publisert 31.01.2007 kl. 19:11

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{img src=\'\' align=\'left\' desc=\'(Click for larger image)\' link=\'\'}But Gaiman not only has raw literary talent, but also culture and taste. And perhaps the times are more congenial to crossing genre borders and mixing high and low today than they were before. Whatever the reason, Gaiman, who has worked mainly as a novelist lately, has been accepted on Parnassos, and in Hollywood.

Granted, his recent collaberation with long time \"Sandman\" cover artist turned film director Dave McKean, \"MirrorMask\", was something of an overly stylised mess. But there\'s no avoiding getting your hopes up when you add up the mojo involved in the making of the film \"Stardust\", based on one of his books.

{img src=\'\' align=\'right\' desc=\'(Click for larger image)\' link=\'\'}These days, long before a movie is released in the theatres, and often long before the production has even started, it will have an official website to wet the appetites of future ticket buyers. Such was also the case with the upcoming film version of \"Stardust\".

But either the web designer made a scene and was sent to a corner to sulk, or some higher ups weren\'t keen on the results. The long and short of it is that the finished site was scrapped, to be replaced by a revamped one at a later date. But Gaiman himself must have taken a fancy to it, as he asked the Grand Poobahs and the \"webelf\" to let him put the old site online at his own website.
I\'m not sure how long we\'re going to be allowed to keep this up, so if you\'re interested you should probably go and play with it now, and tell anyone who might be interested that it\'s here.

The site features videos with Gaiman, art by original illustrator Charles Vess, wallpapers and stills from the production, and even the odd time waster or two. But the bandwidth is limited, so the site flicks in and out of existence. Some of the images can be seen here though.

Among the tidbits on the Q&A section, is that singer Tori Amos, along time friend of Gaiman\'s, was originally slated for a cameo in the film, as a tree...

The synopsis on the site describes the story thus:
\"Stardust,\" based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman illustrated by Charles Vess, takes audiences on an adventure that begins in a small English village and ends up in a magical world on the other side of an otherwise normal-looking stone wall. A young man named Tristan (Charlie Cox) tries to win the heart of village beauty Victoria (Sienna Miller) by promising to bring her a falling star. His journey takes him beyond the walls of his village to a mysterious and forbidden land.

When Tristan finds the star, he is stunned to discover that it is, not a lump of meteoric rock, but an angry, injured girl named Yvaine (Claire Danes) - who has no desire to be dragged across the world and presented to anyone`s girlfriend. But Tristan is not the only one seeking the star. A dying king`s (Peter O`Toole) four sons - not to mention the ghosts of their three dead brothers - all need the star as they vie for the throne. Three evil witches, led by the murderous Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) seek the star`s heart to make them young again.

Tristan and Yvaine are forced to flee together, encountering the captain of a flying pirate ship (Robert De Niro) and a shady trader named Ferdy the Fence (Ricky Gervais) along the way. As they travel Tristan discovers the real meaning of true love, but does not realise he`s taking Yvaine into much deeper peril...

Matthew Vaughn, the producer on Madonna-mate Guy Ritchie\'s films, and the director of \"Layer Cake\", featuring the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, will be directing, while also writing the script with Jane Goldman.

Per Paramount\'s press department about the project last year, through The Hollywood Reporter:
{img src=\'\' align=\'right\' desc=\'(Click for larger image)\' link=\'\'}Vaughn and Gaiman are longtime friends, and Vaughn had been slowly developing \"Stardust\" as something he would do in the far-off future. When he exited \"X-Men 3\" in June, he decided to tackle \"Stardust.\" Vaughn quietly put together the cast, with particular focus on the role of Yvaine, for which many actresses screen-tested.

Vaughn is producing alongside Lorenzo di Bonaventura via his Paramount-based di Bonaventura Pictures. Michael Dreyer and Gaiman also are attached as producers. Stephen Marks and Peter Morton are executive producing.

Gaiman wrote an article for The Guardian a while back, in which he talks about the pleasures and pitfalls of moving from comics to movies. He\'s quite a bit more sanguine about the compromises this entails than his colleague Alan Moore, who has disowned any film projects based on his work, including the latest, \"V for Vendetta\".
{img src=\'\' align=\'left\' desc=\'(Click for larger image)\' link=\'\'}There was a time when those of us who made comics would try and explain what advantages comics had over film. \"Comics have an infinite special-effects budget,\" we\'d say. But we missed the point, now that movies have, for all intents, an infinite special-effects budget. (I was writing a script for Beowulf last year, and, worried that a climactic airborne dragon battle was going a little over the top, I called the director, Robert Zemeckis, to warn him. \"Don\'t worry,\" he said. \"There is nothing you could write that will cost me more than a million dollars a minute to film.\")
Even knowing that Alan\'s renounced it, I want to see V For Vendetta. V and I go back almost 25 years, to the first time I picked up a copy of Warrior magazine and saw those wonderful black-and-white David Lloyd-drawn people staring hopelessly back at me. (I find it hard enough to adjust to a world in which the V graphic novel is coloured; a colour V for Vendetta seems as pointless as colourising Citizen Kane.) Moore\'s story of one lone anarchist up against a fascist British state - in a world poised halfway between Tony Blair\'s dream and Eric Blair\'s warning - meant something important to me and to a handful of other comics readers, when it was first published, and the film trailer, composed primarily of images taken from Warrior covers, hooks into that.

{img src=\'\' align=\'right\' desc=\'(Click for larger image)\' link=\'\'}Alan Moore himself is resigned, amused and wryly bitter about the process of turning comics into film. \"Comics are one step in the digestive process of Hollywood eating itself,\" he told me. \"Are there any films made from the comics that are better than the original comics? Hollywood needs material to make into films as part of an economic process. It could be a Broadway play or a book, or a French film, or a good TV series from the 1960s that people want to see on the big screen, or a bad TV series from the 1960s that nobody cares about but still has a name, or a computer game, or a theme park ride. I expect that the next subject of films will be breakfast-cereal mascots - a film that chronicles how Snap, Crackle and Pop met and explores their relationship. Or the Tony the Tiger movie.\"
But I remain optimistic. While Frank Miller\'s film of Sin City isn\'t as powerful as his comics, it was still his vision up there on the screen in the film he made with Robert Rodriguez, uncompromised by the change from one medium to another. MirrorMask is Dave McKean\'s film from first frame to last, visually and musically. Nearly 20 years after the first Batman film, I realise that film doesn\'t confer legitimacy on comics. But it\'s still an awful lot of fun.

Neil Gaiman on creating \"Stardust\"

Neil Gaiman on the origins of \"Stardust\"

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