Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Cornelia Funke have collaborated on a novel inspired by del Toro’s 2006 classic film Pan’s Labyrinth, which has been acquired by Bloomsbury in a fiercely contested auction. Publishing director, Rebecca McNally acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (exc Canada) from Jenny Savill, director at Andrew Nurnberg Associates.
Cornelia Funke says: ‘El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) has been my favourite movie since I first watched it. 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’.
Rebecca McNally responded: ‘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’.
Set in 1940s Spain, Pan’s Labyrinth 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.
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, and novelist. In his filmmaking career, del Toro has alternated between Spanish-language dark fantasy pieces, such as Pan's Labyrinth (2006), and more mainstream American action films such as Blade II (2002) and 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. Del Toro also received an Academy Award for Best Director, as well as the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Directors Guild of America Awards.
Cornelia Funke is an award-winning German children’s author, born in Dorsten in 1958. Cornelia’s books have been translated from German into 35 different languages, and 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. Cornelia lives in Malibu, California.
Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun will publish on 2 July 2019 in hardback, with illustrations by Allen Williams.
Katherine Tegen Books at Harper US will publish simultaneously.
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).