Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and author Cornelia Funke have collaborated on a new novel for adults inspired by del Toro’s 2006 film “Pan’s Labyrinth”, snapped up by Bloomsbury in the UK in a “fiercely contested” auction.
Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun will be published on 2nd July 2019 in hardback, with illustrations by US artist Allen Williams. Katherine Tegen Books imprint at Harper US will publish simultaneously.
Bloomsbury' children's publishing director Rebecca McNally acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada at auction from Jenny Savill, director at Andrew Nurnberg Associates. McNally has previously published books on the adult list such as Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology, acquired in 2016.
Foreign language rights have already been sold to Brazil (Intrinseca), Germany (Fischer), Holland (Querido Kinderboeken), Italy (Mondadori), Poland (Zysk), Russia (Azbooka-Atticus) and world Spanish (PRH).
Set in 1940s Spain, "Pan’s Labyrinth" was released in 2006 and tells the story of Ofelia, whose pregnant mother has married a sadistic army captain and is sent to live with him in a remote mill at the edge of a dark forest. As her mother grows ill and her stepfather’s brutality is revealed, the boundaries between fantasy and reality, dream and waking, fairy tale and horror are eroded.
Funke said that “Pan’s Labyrinth” was her favourite film. She said: “It demonstrates what I believe to be true: that fantasy is the sharpest tool to develop and unveil all the miracles and the terrors of our reality. It is both political and timeless, a rare achievement in storytelling. My life has often given me reason to believe in magic. But when Guillermo del Toro asked me to turn my favourite movie into a novel, even I wondered whether I had entered the realm of fairy tales.”
McNally said: “This powerful, visceral, scary, beautiful book demonstrates the storytelling magic that can happen when two brilliant imaginations come together. This is a timeless, forever kind of novel. I can’t wait to share it with readers of all ages.”
Del Toro is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, hehas alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as "Pan's Labyrinth" and more mainstream American action films such as “Blade II” (2002) as well as the science fiction film Pacific Rim (2013). His 2017 fantasy film "The Shape of Water" received critical acclaim and won a Golden Lion at the 74th Venice International Film Festival as well as the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2018.
Funke’s books have been translated from German into 35 different languages, and have sold 767,890 copies for £5m, according to Nielsen BookScan. They include Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath, The Thief Lord, Dragonrider and Dragonrider: The Griffin’s Feather, Igraine the Brave, and the Reckless series. A film adaptation of The Thief Lord came out in 2006 and the Hollywood production of "Inkheart" was released in 2008. She lives in Malibu, California.