Wild Thing: Spike Jonze

Usually in Hollywood we hear stories about how a director’s vision is compromised and corrupted by the influence of big business, movie heads, and focus groups. The New York Times Magazine ran a story about Spike Jonze’s journey of bringing Maurice Sendak’s brilliant, iconic book Where the Wild Things Are to life. It seems in this case, art, and the good guy, have won.

Jonze, who has directed two feature films, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION, both of which were Oscar nominated, took a decade to reach WILD THINGS’ opening day of October 16. During that time the project was shelved, Jonze divorced Sofia Coppola, writers changed, the Henson-built monsters had major issues, and Jonze fought with the studio. But in the end the film was made. It’s a great article and the glimpse into Jonze’s history, thought process, and life was refreshing.

Two days before WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is released HBO will air the documentary TELL THEM ANYTHING YOU WANT, directed by Lance Bangs and Jonze. It is about Maurice Sendak (there is portion of the film here). If you, like myself, adored this book as a child then that week in October is shaping up to be something really quite special. And wild.