'Where the Wild Things Are' Script Reviewed


Spike Jonze’s live action adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s children’s book for the ages, Where the Wild Things Are, finished shooting in December of last year, but details on the production have been kept tight to the vest. MTV posted the first still (above) online back in June, but that’s just about all there’s been to consume.

Last week, The New York Post’s Vulture blog learned that author Dave Eggers, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jonze, will be releasing an adult novel based on Wild Things, and the release would coincide with the film’s debut in October of 2008. Now they’ve copped a version of the script written in October of 2005, and have posted a review. Bottom line is that Eggers penchant for nailing “the excitement, small joys, and great disappointments of childhood,” in tandem with Jonze’s well established eye for absurd, visual decadence could cook up something that rivals the impact of its source material. Here’s an excerpt from their review:

Max, the hero of Wild Things, is now an 8-year-old with an absent father, an older sister who’s drifting away from him, a mother whose personal and job concerns leave her little time or energy for the rambunctious boy she dearly loves. Eggers and Jonze — mostly, we suspect, Eggers — touchingly sketch this troubled family unit and carefully track the rising frustration and alarm Max feels as his world becomes darker and more unhappy, until, on page 21, he runs away, climbs aboard a boat, and sails to the island of the Wild Things.

There Jonze’s influence begins to be felt, as the enormous creatures — with names like Carol, Alexander, and K.W. — look to Max as their King, and in a series of marvelous adventures, wrestle tornadoes, eat mud, and tame hawks. Always, though, there’s a subtle undercurrent of menace, and it becomes clear that while spinning a yarn, Jonze and Eggers are also taking us on a tour of Max’s psyche, as he works out so many of the issues that plague his young life.

A mix of live action, “Big Bird sized” monster costumes, and CGI – Wild Things employs the vocal talents of Forest Whitaker, James Gandolfini, Michelle Williams, and Catherine O’Hara, and also featuers Catherine Keener, as Max’s mom on-screen. A heretofore unknown, Max Records (seriously?), was cast as Max, the fictional.

Previously: Katherine O’Hara talked about voice work for the film and iChatting with Maurice Sendak. Also, an on-location report from Melbourne.

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Posted by Ted Zee on October 17th 2007 | Home Page | 8 Comments Subscribe to this site's feed

8 Responses

  1. Samantha Says:

    Wow…that looks really interesting. I remember being read that story growing up. I think Forest Whitaker as voice talent is great. He also happens to be in The Bible Experience and I thoroughly am enjoying him in that.

  2. Where The Wild Things Are « memoirs on a rainy day Says:

    […] I’ve also learned that an adaptation by Spike Jonze is on the way for next year. That will be an interesting movie to see. Click here to see a review of the script by Big Screen Little Screen. […]

  3. Where The Wild Things Are at memoirs on a rainy day Says:

    […] I’ve also learned that an adaptation by Spike Jonze is on the way for next year. That will be an interesting movie to see. Click here to see a review of the script by Big Screen Little Screen. […]

  4. New Still for Spike Jonze’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ » bigscreenlittlescreen.net Says:

    […] Previously: Where the Wild Things Are Script Reviewed […]

  5. Debate Over Alleged ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Clip » Big Screen Little Screen Says:

    […] Previously: Vulture reviewed the Jonze/Dave Eggers written script. Includes the first officially released image. Note the differences in Max’s outfit between the still and the video. Is it even the same Max? Is the clip from an earlier screen test?) […]

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