****FLASH: OCTOBER 6, 2004 ****
WILLIAM MORROW ANNOUNCES
THE FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION OF
A Jim Henson Company Production
Written by Neil Gaiman/Directed by Dave McKean
From Neil Gaiman, the New York Times bestselling author of American Gods, and Dave McKean, the award-winning illustrator of Coraline, comes MIRRORMASK, an upcoming Jim Henson Company film written by Gaiman and directed by McKean, slated to premiere in 2005.
Merrilee Heifetz of Writers House, acting as agent for Gaiman, McKean, and The Jim Henson Company, negotiated a book deal with HarperCollinsPublishers for two MIRRORMASK projects. MIRRORMASK, an oversized, beautifully designed volume, containing the complete script and storyboards, and augmented by notes and observations by the creators, as well as full-color art from the film, will be published in the summer of 2005 by William Morrow/An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers. A MIRRORMASK picture book for younger readers, also written by Gaiman and illustrated with art from the movie, will also be published by HarperCollins Children's Books not long after.
Destined to become a classic for fans of Gaiman, cinema, and fantasy alike, MIRRORMASK tells the story of Helena, a fifteen-year-old girl who works for her family's circus. Helena juggles, sells popcorn, and wishes that she could run away from the circus and join the "real world." Then, one day she wakes up to find herself in a magical world filled with fantastic beings and creatures, an alternate reality. It is a land of opposing kingdoms, one perpetually existing in light, the other in constant darkness. These lands have existed in perfect balance, until now. And Helena finds herself about to embark on a most remarkable journey.
MIRRORMASK is a new fantasy feature film in the tradition of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Gaiman wrote the screenplay and McKean directed, using a combination of live-action and CG animation. Lisa Henson, Michael R. Polis and Martin G. Baker are Executive Producers and Simon Moorhead is Producer. The film stars Stephanie Leonidas as Helena, Gina McKee as Helena's mother Joanne, as well as the two Queens, Rob Brydon as Helena's father and Jason Barry as Valentine. To see the most recent trailer from this one-of-a-kind cinematic adventure, go to www.mirrormask.com. Publicity stills are available at http://digital.henson.com/mirrormaskpr/index.html.
"Dave McKean and I created the story and the script for MIRRORMASK in the Henson family home in London, surrounded by memorabilia and artifacts from Jim Henson's astonishing career in television and fantasy filmmaking," says Gaiman. "It was a true challenge and inspiration to try to make something today that would be as visually rich, creative, funny, and as moving as Jim Henson's original works."
"Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean are pillars of creativity within the fantasy genre, and all of us at The Jim Henson Company are thrilled to partner with them on MIRRORMASK," said Lisa Henson, Executive Producer and co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company. "We are especially pleased that this film will mark the first time that Neil's remarkable writing and Dave's stunning artistic vision have met in a feature film. We have no doubt that this collaboration will result in a wonderfully entertaining movie."
NEIL GAIMAN is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the novels American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust, Coraline, the short fiction collection Smoke and Mirrors, and the children's books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and The Wolves in the Walls (NY Times Illustrated Book of the Year), both of which were illustrated by McKean. He lives in the United States. Visit his website at www.neilgaiman.com.
DAVE McKEAN is an award-winning, world-renowned mixed media artist, illustrator, and director. A longtime collaborator and friend of Neil Gaiman, McKean is famous for his distinctive work on the covers for the entire run of Gaiman's CD/Vertigo "Sandman" comic book series. He lives in England.
THE JIM HENSON COMPANY, an established leader in family entertainment for nearly half a century, is recognized worldwide as a leader in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Company), Henson is the recipient of nearly 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Additionally, Jim Henson's Creature Shop™ has received two Academy Awards for the visual effects and animatronic builds for the 1996 smash Babe, and the invention of the Henson Performance Control System-a powerful, custom-built puppeteering mechanism. Recent projects include the Emmy nominated Farscape, the family film Good Boy! and the upcoming features Five Children and It and MirrorMask. The company is currently in production on the preschool series Frances and the television feature Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York and London. The Jim Henson Company's website is located at: www.henson.com.