Ray Bradbury's The Halloween Tree Getting Feature-Film Treatment

Ray Bradbury is arguably one of the most iconic genre authors of the past century, largely thanks to his influential work on Fahrenheit 451. According to a new report, one of Bradbury's lesser-known projects might be on its way to the big screen. Warner Bros. has reportedly enlisted Will Dunn to write an adaptation of The Halloween Tree, a fantasy novel from Bradbury that was first published in 1972. Dunn is an alumni of 20th Century Fox's Feature Writer Program, and previously wrote The Fisherman, a script that has made its way onto The Black List.

The Halloween Tree follows Tom and his schoolmates who begin to investigate the strange happenings in their small town on Halloween night. Their friend Pip is abducted by a powerful demon from the Land of the Dead. With the help of an unlikely ally, a mysterious figure named Moundshroud, Tom and his pals must journey into the Land of the Dead to save their friend.

In the book, the boys with Moundshroud pursue their friend across time and space traveling to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and to places such as the Notre Dame Cathedral in medieval Paris, and the Day of the Dead in Mexico. Along the way, they learn the origins of the holiday that they celebrate, and the role that the fear of death, ghosts, and the haunts has played in shaping civilization. The Halloween Tree itself, with its many branches laden with jack-o’-lanterns, serves as a metaphor for the historical confluence of these traditions.

The Halloween Tree was previously adapted into a feature-length animated TV movie, which was released by Hanna-Barbera in 1993. Bradbury both wrote and narrated that adaptation, and ultimately won the 1994 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.

42 will produce the film adaptation, with Charlie Morrison leading the project.

This is the most recent adaptation of Bradbury's work to make its way into live-action, with a film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 being released by HBO in 2018. That adaptation starred Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, and Sofia Boutella.

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h/t: Deadline

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