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Neil Gaiman’s upcoming Hansel and Gretel graphic novel to be made into a movie

One thing the last few years of comic-book movies have made clear is that a book doesn’t even need to be released for it to get the big-screen adaptation treatment. The latest project to be optioned prior to its arrival on shelves is Neil Gaiman’s upcoming graphic novel based on the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Due for wide release in October, Gaiman’s spin on the Brothers Grimm fairytale was optioned by producer Juliet Blake, reports Variety. Blake recently partnered with Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg on The Hundred-Foot Journey.

“For me, retelling Hansel and Gretel was a way of telling an old tale in a way that made it immediate and true, and about us, now,” said Gaiman in a statement accompanying the announcement. “It reminds us of how paper thin civilization really is. It’s about hunger, and about families.”

The Hansel and Gretel story is neither the first major film to be based on the fairytale characters nor the first movie based on one of Gaiman’s works. Last year’s effects-driven, fantasy action film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, was a surprise hit at the box office with more than $226 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Previously, Gaiman’s fantasy novel Stardust was made into a live-action 2007 film, and his children’s story Coraline was developed as an animated feature that hit theaters in 2009. Gaiman also penned the story for 2005’s live-action fantasy MirrorMask and co-wrote 2007’s animated Beowulf. His original stories The Graveyard BookAmerican Gods, and How To Talk To Girls At Parties are also currently being developed as movies or television projects, as well as his critically acclaimed Sandman stories for DC Comics.

Prior to taking on the role of film producer, Blake served as president of Jim Henson Television.

Gaiman’s Hansel and Gretel is expected to hit shelves in October, and is illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti.

“I’m thrilled and delighted to be working with Juliet Blake to bring Hansel and Gretel to the world again, and to show people how much this story has to say to us,” added Gaiman.