Jan. 06, 2015 | 2:50 p.m.

Laika to auction puppets from ‘Coraline,’ ‘Boxtrolls,’ ‘ParaNorman’

Fans of “Coraline,” “The Boxtrolls” and “ParaNorman” have the chance to own a little piece of the acclaimed animated films. In time for its 10th anniversary this year, the Portland, Ore.-based animation studio Laika is auctioning over 250 puppets, models, props and other artwork used to make its stop-motion films. Hero Complex readers get a first look at one of the props up for auction — the mecha-drill used by the villainous Snatcher in “The Boxtrolls,” which opened in theaters in September and has been nominated for a Golden Globe and an Annie Award, among other accolades. At just over 5 feet, the drill is the largest prop ever made for a stop-motion film, according to Heritage Auctions, which is hosting the auction. “The Art of Laika” auction, to be held Feb. 12 in Beverly Hills, marks the first time […]
Nov. 29, 2011 | 9:24 a.m.

Neil Gaiman returns to ‘Neverwhere’ (and ‘Graveyard Book’ movie?)

The master storyteller Neil Gaiman has mapped many fantasy landscapes, but in the television miniseries “Neverwhere” he presents a dark vision of magical London that feels as close as the next Underground station. “A friend of mine’s mother described it as Narnia on the Northern Line,” Gaiman says, “and I found that to be actually incredibly accurate.” “Neverwhere” aired in 1996 as a six-part, three-hour series on British television and now it’s reaching the U.S. in a new 15th anniversary home video collection. The story hinges on a meeting between two people and an act of kindness; a Scot named Richard Mayhew (Gary Bakewell), a businessman in London, stops one night to help an injured girl named Door (Laura Fraser) and then finds himself transported to a different version of the city that feels like a world away. The series then toggles between London Below and London […]
Feb. 07, 2010 | 6:59 p.m.

Neil Gaiman tells L.A. fan: ‘Trust your dreams, your heart and your story’

Alicia Lozano makes her return to the Hero Complex with coverage of a packed-house event at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Neil Gaiman had a rough year. His father died while the 49-year-old author was working on a screenplay of his 2005 novel “Anansi Boys” and financing crumpled for a film adaptation of “The Graveyard Book.” But standing before a rapt audience (and a wildly diverse one, considering the children carrying copies of “Coraline,” the parents toting “American Gods” and goth kids wielding “Sandman” issues) at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Thursday night, Gaiman was nothing but sprightly storytelling and good omens. “I always wanted to be the kind of writer who can tell whatever stories he wanted,” said Gaiman, dressed in his ubiquitous uniform of black on black with appropriately shaggy hair and alabaster skin. “It never occurred to me not to be.” […]
Jan. 22, 2010 | 3:29 a.m.

Neil Gaiman says ‘Graveyard Book’ film is dead — for now

Neil Gaiman knows that the best stories must be both bitter and sweet — he is, after all, the author of “The Graveyard Book,” the tender children’s novel that opens with a nasty knife murder. Still, the 49-year-old Brit sounds dazed when he reflects on the past year of his life. “I had a really strange year,” the author said in a faraway voice. “I was leading up to the writing of an ‘Anansi Boys’ screenplay [based on my 2005 novel], which begins with an incredibly funny sequence where the protagonist’s father keels over from a surprise heart attack. And as I was doing that my father keeled over and died of a surprise heart attack. It’s not terribly funny though, is it?” The death of David Gaiman during a business meeting in March left his son searching for words. […]
Nov. 03, 2009 | 12:55 a.m.

Henry Selick and ‘Coraline’ hosted by Hero Complex tonight at the Landmark

  Brave enough to enter the other world? Come see a free screening of “Coraline” at 7:30 tonight at The Landmark at 10850 W. Pico Boulevard and then stick around for my interview with director Henry Selick up on stage. We’ll be taking questions from the audience as well, as this event that’s brought to you by the Los Angeles Times and The Envelope is the first of five screenings leading up to the Oscar voting. Hope to see you there. — Geoff Boucher Top photo by David Strick; photo of Neil Gaiman, below, by Kimberly Butler Neil Gaiman and the stuff that dreams are made of Neil Gaiman on the Hollywood future of “Sandman” Gaiman says Moore was the Beatles: “I was Gerry & Pacemakers” “Coraline”: Meet the cast Exclusive set photos: “Coraline” coming to life Henry Selick’s maquettes charm the Con
Jan. 05, 2009 | 6:33 p.m.

Doctor Who, Mark Millar and ‘Coraline’ in Everyday Hero headlines

The confetti has been cleared away, the egg nog has gone bad and I’m back at work. Hope you enjoyed the holidays as much as I did and welcome to the first 2009 edition of Everyday Hero, your handpicked headlines from the fanboy universe… THE (NEW) DOCTOR IS IN: Big news from across the Atlantic, where the TARDIS has a new owner. I’m still mourning the departure of David Tennant, the best Doctor Who of them all, but I suppose it’s time to move on, especially now that his replacement has been named: "The BBC today announced that Matt Smith has been cast in the role of the Doctor in the iconic BBC series ‘Doctor Who.’ Smith will be the eleventh Time Lord and will take over from David Tennant who leaves the show at the end of 2009. He […]
Dec. 29, 2008 | 6:29 p.m.

Neil Gaiman and the stuff that dreams are made of

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Neil Gaiman, who is one of the signature talents over the past two decades in comic books as well a writer of increasing renown for his novels and work in Hollywood. I posted a three-part Q&A from that interview right here on Hero Complex (it began here, continued here and then finished up here) but I also used the conversation as the foundation for a feature on the 20th anniversary of "The Sandman." That feature ran (finally) this morning on the cover of the Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times. It won’t have many surprises for readers who checked out the full Q&A, but here’s an excerpt for everyone else and those Gaiman die-hard fans who just can’t get enough when it comes to this sparkling storyteller. –Geoff Boucher  […]
Dec. 03, 2008 | 1:48 p.m.

Neil Gaiman dreams of Morpheus onscreen: ‘A Sandman movie is an inevitability’

EXCLUSIVE: This is the third and final part of our interview with Neil Gaiman on the 20th anniversary of "The Sandman." In this installment, the British native talks about the film future of Morpheus, his disappointments with the "Stardust" movie and his anxieties about the upcoming "Coraline" adaptation. (Read Part One and Part Two) GB: This seems to be the golden age of comic-book films and your Hollywood profile has risen with "Beowulf," "Stardust" and the upcoming "Coraline." So what can you tell us about the status of "The Sandman" as a Hollywood project? NG: Back in about 1991 or 1992 I got sent into a meeting with an executive at Warners. He told me, "They’re talking about a ‘Sandman’ movie," and I said. "Please, don’t do it." He said, "What?" I told him I’m still writing this thing, it’s […]
Sept. 15, 2008 | 5:17 p.m.

Neil Gaiman’s ‘Coraline’ coming to life

Here are some images from the Portland, Ore., set of “Coraline,” the much-anticipated animated film version of Neil Gaiman’s brilliant novella (which was also notably adapted as a graphic novel drawn by P. Craig Russell). The photo above shows scenic painter Aaron Jarrett at work on the set of the film now being directed and produced by the ingenious Henry Selick, who along with Tim Burton brought the world the spindly magic of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” These photographs were taken by David Strick, who has one of the greatest gigs ever: He’s the set photographer who gets fantastic access and captures truly singular Tinseltown moments. You can see the building collection of his very special work over at Hollywood Backlot. It’s a pretty astounding and deep archive, and every time I click through I find something new and compelling. […]
July 26, 2008 | 11:05 p.m.

Comic-Con: Henry Selick’s ‘Coraline’ maquettes charm the ‘Con

Fans of director Henry Selick and writer Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” got an up-close look at Selick’s upcoming stop-motion animated feature “Coraline” on the Comic-Con show floor. Adapted by Selick from Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling book of the same name, “Coraline” follows a young girl (Dakota Fanning) who walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. The parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life – only much better. Except when Coraline’s fantastical adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents (including Other Mother, voiced by Teri Hatcher) try to keep her forever. Georgina Hayns, head of “Coraline” puppet department, accompanied the movie’s maquettes to San Diego where they are displayed in the NECA booth. Selick allowed the models to journey from Laika headquarters in Portland, Oregon where he […]
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