Producer Clark Peterson says the animated movie will be done in the style of “Fantasia”
"The Prophet" is getting the "Fantasia" treatment.
Clark Peterson and Ron Senkowski, along with Salma Hayek and her Ventanarosa Productions, are producing an animated version of the beloved Kahlil Gibran book.
The book has sold more than 100 million copies, so Hollywood has long been interested in doing something with it.
But the book is 26 essays on topics such as joy and sorrow, death, work, houses, religion and beauty. It doesn't have a storyline that easily lends itself to film adaptation.
"So," Peterson told TheWrap, "it's going to be done in the style of 'Fantasia.'"
"Fantasia," the 1940 Walt Disney classic, had 11 directors, each of whom directed a musical segment. "The Prophet" aims to do something similar. Each segment, based on a chapter of the book, will have a different director.
"It's really sort of an international celebration of this work," Peterson said. "The book is such an international phenomenon that has transcended cultures and languages, we didn't want it to be any one person or any one country's version."
So far, he expects Sylvain Chomet ("The Triplets of Belleville"), Kunio Kato ("Tsumiki no ie"), Oscar-winner Chris Landreth ("Ryan"), Tomm Moore ("The Secret of Kells"), two-time Oscar nominee Darragh O'Connell ("Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty"), Nina Paley ("Sita Sings the Blues"), Bill Plympton ("Guard Dog"), Marjane Satrapi ("Persepolis"), Oscar nominees Alan Smith and Adam Foulkes ("This Way Up"), John Stevenson ("Kung Fu Panda") and Poland's Michal Socha each to direct segments.
There is a script "of sorts," said Peterson, who produced the Academy Award-winning 2004 "Monster."
"With the different directors working on different chapters, the scripting of those individual chapters is largely in their court, so it's not a traditional kind of script," he explained.
Music is a vital component in the picture, and Peterson said "there will be world-class musical talents involved."
Producers are still putting the elements in place, and while "we've been in some conversations with some distribution companies," there is no distribution yet.
"We're still in the financing phase," Peterson said.
He said the audience will be "people who already have read the book, but the film is intended to play to all ages."
Hayek's producing partner, Jose Tamez, will executive produce with co-financier Steve Hanson. William Nix is executive producing.
A group which Hanson led obtained rights to the book.
The book was first published in 1923 and has been translated into more than 40 languages. Gibran is the thrd-most read poet in history, following only Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.
Deadline originally reported the story.