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Literary Landmarks in the Village: "Where the Wild Things Are"

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This time next year, on October 16, 2009, the Spike Jonze film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is scheduled to open. The film, shot with real actors and a combination of live-action puppetry and CGI, was originally scheduled to be in theaters now. I’ve read that Warner Brothers apparently was not happy with the finished product, and test-screened audiences felt it was too scary for children. I’m not sure Jonze necessarily set out to make a children’s film. 

My first thought when I heard that someone was attempting a live-action CGI puppet film adaptation of this children’s classic was “good luck.” I then made a quick mental list of directors who could possibly pull it off. Michel Gondry was on the short list, as was Jonze. It is interesting that both of these directors got their start in music, directing some of the most memorable music videos ever made. Their feature films haven’t been too bad either. With the artistic vision of Jonze, along with help from the capable Dave Eggers on the screenplay, Where the Wild Things Are promises to be one of the most original offerings of 2009.

Sendak created Where the Wild Things Are when he was living just east of Jefferson Market Library in a basement apartment at 29 West 9th Street, adding another literary landmark for you to check out next time you are in the neighborhood.

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