EXCLUSIVE: Disney has just made a pre-emptive pitch deal for Stuff Of Legend, with Pete Candeland attached to direct and Abduction‘s Shawn Christensen writing the script. It’s the second recent Disney deal for Candeland, an accomplished commercials and video director best known for his work with animation and for creating and directing the music videos for The Gorillaz and for working with Paul McCartney to create a cinematic opening to The Beatles Rock Band for Harmonix. Candeland recently made a deal to turn the Disney theme-park ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride into a live-action feature.
Stuff Of Legend, a graphic novel written by Mike Raicht & Brian Smith and illustrated by Charles Paul Wilson III, has a bit of Toy Story and The Chronicles Of Narnia in it. A young boy in 1944 is abducted by the Boogeyman, dragged by the ankles into the closet realm known as The Dark. The boy’s puppy rallies his toys to follow his master in a rescue mission. Once in the closet, each of those toys become menacingly large and agile creatures who engage in a war with the Boogeyman’s forces. Those armies are comprised of the other toys stored in the closet, a mix of medieval knights, cowboys and toy soldiers. The intention is to make a live-action film set in a CGI world, like Alice In Wonderland.
Candeland and Christensen spent close to a year working on a pitch and visual presentation after being given the graphic novel by Mandeville exec David Manpearl. Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce and Manpearl will be exec producer. Candeland and Christensen are repped by Verve and Christensen is managed by Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier. Jake Wagner is executive producer. This is the first IP movie deal for Th3rd World Studios, which published the graphic novel. Michael DeVito is head of Th3rd World Studios.