Where the wild things are


Well...it's been a long road to the big screen for this one...4 years long.
Here are some fun facts:
Spike Jonze was approached by Maurice Sendak and was asked to take on the film adaptation. A movie had been on the burner since the early 90s, and Mr. Sendak had not been able to find anyone fitting to take it on.

The creatures are being portrayed by actors in 6-8 foot tall costumes, with some additional animatronics, and computer-generated faces. The costumes were created by The Jim Henson Company, who were responsible for the Muppets and Labyrinth creatures.
Throughout the writing process, Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers kept in close contact with Maurice Sendak, consulting and sharing script changes, models of the monsters, etc.
It has been said that actors in the monster costumes would wear the head for no more than half an hour at a time, after which they would have 10-15 minute breaks in front of an air conditioner. Stunt performers would remain fully suited for hours at a time, without air conditioning.
Numerous cameras followed the actors around to impress their expressions and feelings. The images would then be digitally "infused" onto the faces of the puppets and would follow the actors' performances.

Where the Wild Things Are | Directed by Spike Jonze from JoeL K on Vimeo.

Early development of a film version was leaning towards a fully-animated film.
Initially, Warner Brothers studio was so unhappy with Spike Jonze's final movie (it was much less family friendly than they imagined) that they wanted to re-shoot the whole $75 milion project in early 2008. Jonze was eventually given some more time and money by the studio in order to make the final product satisfying to both, the studio and himself.
Though their names are not mentioned in the book, Maurice Sendak named the Wild Things after his aunts and uncles: Bernard, Tzippeh, Aaron, Moishe, etc. The Wild Things have names in the film, but are not named after Sendak's aunts and uncles.

In Max Records' previous film The Brothers Bloom (2008), he played Mark Ruffalo's character when he was young. Ruffalo and Records co-star together in this film.
Maurice Sendak heard that one of President Barack Obama's favorite books was Where The Wild Things Are, so he sent Obama's daughters signed books with little sketches in the front and immediately got back a hand-written thank you note from Obama.
This is the first time any of the cast members appears in a movie released on IMAX screens.
In July 2006, less than six weeks before the start of shooting, the Henson-built monster suits arrived at the Melbourne soundstage where Spike Jonze and his crew had set up their offices. The actors climbed inside and began moving around. Right away, Jonze could see that the heads were absurdly heavy. Only one of the actors appeared able to walk in a straight line. A few of them called out from within their costumes that they felt like they were going to tip over. Jonze and the production crew had no choice but to tell the Henson people to tear apart the 50-pound heads and remove the remote-controlled mechanical eyeballs. This meant that all the facial expressions would have to be generated in post-production, using computers.
Max Records's favorite scene in the original book, is when Max meet a sea monster. That scene is however not included in the film.
Spike Jonze turned down the chance to make the movie fully animated, because he wanted people to feel the Wild Things, and thought it would be more exciting and dangerous, if a real kid were running around with the wild things.
All the original songs in the movie were written and preformed by Karen Orzolek, credited as her stage name Karen O., the lead singer of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She dated director Spike Jonze at the time of production. They have since broken up.

Ref.: Imdb