Spike Jonze Brings Wild Things to Life

Director fought for years for his vision of Sendak's classic
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2009 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Spike Jonze grew up on the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are, and wanted to make a very raw, very unconventional movie of it, portraying the wild things as the scary emotions kids feel. Jonze persuaded Maurice Sendak to take a shot on his vision, but the studio was a tougher sell, terrified that the result would be too dark and plotless for the box office bang they need from a big-budget picture, the New York Times reports.

That prompted a long, painful battle for the veteran video director with only two quirky feature films under his belt, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. "It’s so insanely crazy and awesome and so untraditional,” a wowed Slashfilm editor said after seeing the result in preview this summer. “It feels like a movie that was written by a child who knew what he was doing but had never seen a movie before."