Apple TV+ has signed a deal to produce multiple kids’ series with Maurice Sendak, author of many popular children’s picture books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, and Outside Over There, per The Hollywood Reporter. Arthur Yorinks (Last Dance, Articulate with Jim Cotter), who will help Sendak develop each project with Apple TV+, is a writer and director in opera, theater, dance, film, and radio, and has written multiple books, most of them children’s.
The deal will span multiple years, during which Apple TV+ will be able to produce a television show for his most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are. In 2009, a film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are was directed by Spike Jonze (producer, Her; actor, Three Kings) and produced by Tom Hanks (Cast Away, Big), Gary Goetzman (producer Mamma Mia!; producer, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), and Sendak.
The movie comes with some alterations and expansions of the original story. The synopsis reads, “Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king” (IMDB). While the picture book reinforces the comfort of home, the movie brings a more realistic perspective to the story, depicting the young boy’s parents as divorced and his home life as slightly problematic and discouraging of his wild imagination. Apple TV+ will assign this television series to its kids’ programming section, meaning that the upcoming series may not be as serious as the movie. You can watch the trailer for the movie below:
With the popularity of Sendak’s books has come much controversy. After Where the Wild Things Are was published in 1963, many critics, including the notable children’s psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, “feared that the book was too frightening for children” (Books Tell You Why). Also, Sendak’s Into the Night Kitchen, sparked debate about whether it was alright for Sendak to have portrayed his protagonist completely nude.
Despite the past controversies, however, the fact that Sendak’s books are still being adapted proves their impact and immense popularity.