Ron Howard in Talks to Direct Disney's 'Graveyard Book' (Exclusive)

Ron Howard
<p><strong>Ron Howard</strong> arrives at the premiere. Howard&#39;s next film, <em>Rush</em>, is a Formula 1 racer biopic starring <strong>Chris Hemsworth </strong>and Spanish actor <strong>Daniel Br&uuml;hl</strong>.</p>   |   Larry Busacca/Getty Images
The move will breathe new life into the adaptation of the Neil Gaiman children's book.

The Graveyard Book is coming back to life.

Disney’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed 2008 kids novel was being developed as a stop-motion project to be directed by Henry Selick. It even had an October 2013 release date. But the project was put six feet under last summer when the studio and Selick parted ways over scheduling and development.

In a new twist, Graveyard now has been reconfigured as a live-action movie, and sources say Ron Howard is in negotiations to direct.

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Gil Netter, a veteran producer with adaptations including Marley & Me and Life of Pi among his credits, is producing with Ben Browning.

The book tells of a boy named Nobody Owens who is raised by ghosts in a cemetery after his family is murdered. When he is a teen, he is pursued again by his family’s killer, a being called “the Man Jack.” Graveyard won the Carnegie and Newbery medals for best children’s book -- the only time one work won both awards.

Howard’s boarding signals a new round of development for Graveyard. The director will oversee the writing of a new script, and Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment also might end up in a producer role.

Howard, repped by CAA and Bloom Hergott, is putting the finishing touches on Rush, a racing biopic that stars Chris Hemsworth and will be released Sept. 20 by Universal.

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