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Hollywood: Let Neil Gaiman Direct Already

Author, screenwriter, “Metamorpho” scribe, and rock star boyfriend Neil Gaiman recently announced plans to direct a new short film on his blog. Savvy fans know that the multi-talented Gaiman already has one short film under his belt– 2003’s excellent “A Short Film About John Bolton.” While we already knew the guy can write, the hilariously creepy and deadpan faux-documentary showcased Gaiman’s skills behind the camera. So why hasn’t Hollywood turned Gaiman into the next Frank Miller? (He never would’ve forced Samuel Jackson to spout egg puns.)

Gaiman’s new short will be silent, and might need extras if you happen to be in the London area. All well and good, but what about “Death and Me,” the “Death: The High Cost of Living” adaptation that was supposed to be Gaiman’s feature directing debut? (Gaiman even spent time on the set of “Hellboy 2″ with Guillermo Del Toro in preparation to direct a major studio pic.) But even if “Death” is stuck in development hell until Shia LaBeouf gets around to starring, Gaiman has a bevy of other film projects in the works that could use his directorial touch. Why wait for David Fincher to direct the “Black Hole” adaptation Gaiman co-scripted when the author has already proven his cinematic chops? Or how about that adaptation of Nicholson Baker’s novel “The Fermata” that Gaiman wrote for Robert Zemeckis ages ago? It’s not like Zemeckis is going to stop doing everything in motion-capture anytime soon.

Frank Miller got the chance to ruin, er, helm a major studio feature on his own after one (admittedly mega-hit) film. Meanwhile, Gaiman has slogged away in the Hollywood trenches on everything from “Princess Mononoke” to “Beowulf” only to see his many big screen projects languish in development. Where’s the justice? Now that “Coraline” has officially established Gaiman as a cinematic force to be reckoned with, it’s time Hollywood did the right thing and put him in the director’s chair. Pretty soon, Todd McFarlane will have more cinematic credits than Gaiman. What is this, 1997?

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