The upcoming years for every cinephile are going to be great, as iconic filmmakers are slated to release their highly anticipated individual projects. Filmmaker Henry Selick, who is prominently known for directing stop-motion animated films like “Monkeybone” (2001), “Coraline” (2009), and “Wendell & Wild” (2022), is currently planning to adapt Neil Gaiman’s 2013 novel “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.”

Teasing about this project, Selick told Variety, “Instead of a child going to this other world with a monstrous mother, it’s a monstrous mother who comes into our world to wreak havoc on a kid’s life.” This isn’t the first time Selick is adapting Gaiman’s novel, as his previous directorial film, “Coraline,” is also based on Gaiman’s novel. As for “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” it explores the themes of the search for self-identity and the “disconnect between childhood and adulthood.”

The novel follows the tale of “an unnamed man who returns to his hometown for a funeral and remembers events that began forty years earlier.” Selick is currently shopping the project around, so hopefully we’ll have distribution news soon.

Another film industry legend, Zhang Yimou, is currently working on the feature adaptation of Liu Cixin’s “The Three-Body Problem,” which was recently adapted by Alexander Woo, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss for the Netflix series. As reported at the Shanghai International Film Festival, the project is currently in the pre-production stage. The synopsis of the novel reads:

“Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.”

Legendary Filmmakers Set to Release Groundbreaking Projects That Hold the Potential to Revolutionize Cinema in the Coming Years - hof
A still from “Red Sorghum” (1988), directed by Zhang Yimou

Yimou is one of China’s most enduring filmmakers. He is best known in the West for crossover titles such as 2016’s “The Great Wall,” set in Imperial China and starring Matt Damon. His other credits include “Red Sorghum” (1987), which won the Golden Bear in Berlin. He has also directed “The Story of Qiu Ju” (1992), “To Live” (1994), “The Road Home” (1999), “House of Flying Daggers” (2004), and “Cliff Walkers” (2021).

The forthcoming year will also witness the collaboration of acclaimed filmmakers. Two icons of Italian cinema, Dario Argento and Franco Nero, will be teaming up to star in Paul Raschid’s horror-thriller “The Run.” As per Deadline reports, the film will have an interactive element that “will involve the viewer being asked to make high-stakes decisions for the protagonist at various points throughout the story that will affect the direction of the narrative and, in some cases, result in early death.” The film is set on “a remote running trail, where a famous fitness influencer’s morning run becomes a race for survival when seemingly motiveless killers hunt her. She meets local farmer Matteo along the way, and the viewer’s choices determine whether they live or die.” While there are no details on what platform the film may appear on, the producers compare the audience choice to Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch.”

The next visionary on the list is French-Spanish film director and screenwriter Óliver Laxe. The filmmaker is soon wrapping up his untitled next feature, Cineuropa reports. Laxe co-wrote this project with Santiago Fillol, and it stars Sergi López. The film follows a man (López) and his son (Bruno Núñez), who “arrive at a rave in the middle of the arid and ghostly mountains of southern Morocco. They are looking for their respective daughters and sisters, who disappeared months ago at one of these raging parties. Driven by fate, they decide to follow a group of ‘ravers’ in search of one last party to be held in the desert, in the hope that she will be there.”

Meanwhile, Moroccan-French filmmaker Robin Campillo is fresh off his latest feature, “Red Island,” which is slated to release in August in the U.S. Now he is busy making his next film, titled “Enzo.” Cineuropa reports that Campillo will be taking over the project from Laurent Cantet, who unexpectedly passed away in April and was a close friend of Campillo. The upcoming film will feature acclaimed actors like Eloy Pohu and Maksym Slivinskyi, supported by Pierfrancesco Favino, but no plot details have been revealed yet.

Last but not least, Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu is making a psychological thriller, “La Saint-André des loups,” as per IONCINEMA. The Romania-France co-production, set to begin shooting next spring, will be set against the backdrop of 1940s Communist and Nazi-occupied Romania. No additional plot details have been unveiled yet.

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