New Neil Gaiman Film Will Feature ‘Maleficent’ Star

Elle Fanning — hot off her appearance in the uber-successful Angelina Jolie flick Maleficent — is set to star in a new film based on a Neil Gaiman short story, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, the film Elle Fanning will reportedly star in, was a short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman originally published in 2006. It tells the tale of two young men in 1977 – one shy and one outgoing – that attend a punk party in London. One of the men hooks up with a young woman almost at once, while the other struggles a bit.

As it turns out, however, the girls are not what they seem.

The Neil Gaiman story was nominated for a Hugo Award as Best Short Story in 2007, and won the Locus Award in the same category.

The film, based on the Neil Gaiman story, will be directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Mitchell adapted Neil Gaiman’s story, writing the script with writer Philippa Goslett. Mitchell last directed Rabbit Hole, which starred Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

Neil Gaiman is no stranger to Hollywood. Maybe best known for writing the revolutionary Sandman comic book for Dark Horse in the 1990’s, his work has often been a hot commodity in tinsel town. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is currently in development at Warner Bros, his Newbery Medal Award-winning children’s tale The Graveyard Book is currently being adapted by Gil Netter for Disney, and Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods is currently being transformed into a series for Starz.

Neil Gaiman’s book Neverwhere was produced as a mini-series for the BBC in 1996. Neil Gaiman wrote the story and script for 2005’s Mirrormask, a film done with Henson Studios and Neil Gaiman’s oft-time collaborator, Dave McKean.

More recently, Neil Gaiman’s book Stardust was adapted as a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro. He wrote the screenplay for Robert Zemeckis’ CGI version of Beowulf in 2007. Neil Gaiman’s children’s book Coraline was turned into a stop-motion film by legendary director Henry Selick in 2009. The prolific author also penned two revolutionary, fan-favorite episodes of Doctor Who in 2011 and 2013.

In addition to Maleficent, Elle Fanning has appeared in Super 8 and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

In his introduction to How to Talk to Girls at Parties in his collection, Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman writes:

“I took an empty notebook and pen and I went down to the gazebo at the bottom of the garden and during the course of the afternoon I wrote this story. I got to read it aloud for the first time a few weeks later at a benefit at the legendary CBGBs. It was the best possible location to read a story about punk and 1977, and it made me feel very happy.”

A target release date for the film, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, based on Neil Gaiman’s short story, has not been announced.