I must applaud the people at Nickelodeon/Paramount for not giving into the Potter machine. I was shocked that this new teaser poster for The Spiderwick Chronicles is nothing like the posters for the Harry Potter movies. And I am very glad that it stands on its own, despite the fact that the Spiderwick books feature designs that rip off evoke the Potter novels. Instead the poster appropriately reflects the look of the film, or at least the last shot we saw in the teaser trailer last week. I'm guessing that as we get closer to February (when the film hits theaters), we will see posters showing more of the fantastical nature of the story -- I think ads might even show some of the other characters, human and mythological. Until then, we have a scared little Freddie Highmore walking through the color-blurred woods.

Based on the series of novels by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, The Spiderwick Chronicles stars Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as a boy who moves to the country and finds a mysterious field guide to another world. From the trailer, it seems like a cross between The Neverending Story, Jumanji and Bridge to Terabitha (who am I kidding? It looks like a hundred fantasy films, though possibly darker than most of the current offerings). The film is being directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls) and according to the IMDb, the following people have worked on the screenplay: David Berenbaum (Elf); partners Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy); and John Sayles (The Secret of Roan Inish). The cast includes Mary-Louise Parker, David Strathairn and Joan Plowright and the voices of Nick Nolte, Martin Short and Knocked Up's Seth Rogen (!).