Even with The Golden Compass sort of flaming out last fall, kids' fantasy continues to be a hot commodity. Witness the treatment that Brian Selznick's highly acclaimed illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret is currently receiving. The adaptation is being ushered into production by GK Films, whose last project was The Departed. They've recruited in-demand screenwriter John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator, Sweeney Todd) to write the screenplay. And the film will be directed by Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots), trying to make an Andrew Adamson-like break into live-action having mastered CGI animation. The plan is to start filming this fall, presumably with an eye toward getting the movie out by Christmas of next year.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret isn't just any old children's book. Its author says that it's "not exactly a novel, and it's not quite a picture book, and it's not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things." The New York Times called it "a silent film on paper." It's about an orphaned boy working as a clock cleaner in a Paris train station who gets embroiled in a mystery involving another of the train station's denizens. Sounds like fun, and also like an opportunity to make something generic out of something unique. Ah, but that's unfairly pessimistic (even if Robots was awful) -- I'm actually a sucker for this tyke-fantasy stuff. Another one for the ole' reading list...