When it was announced in January that director Martin Scorsese would be adapting Brian Selznick’s children’s book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret into a feature film, our eyebrows — though maybe not as dramatically as Marty’s would — immediately raised. Here’s an Oscar-winning director, one of the few true adult filmmakers left in Hollywood, and he was going to make…a kids movie? In 3D?! Worse, he was choosing Hugo Cabret over his long-awaited Frank Sinatra biopic, I Hear You Paint Houses (a final act mafia film with Robert De Niro), the clearly never happening Silence with Benicio Del Toro and Daniel Day-Lewis and the host of other interesting projects he had “in development.” Say it ain’t so, Marty!
Well consider our fears satiated. In addition to previously announced stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Chloe Moretz (Hit Girl from Kick-Ass), Hugo Cabret will co-star Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee and Richard Griffiths. Because of course when you think about a movie for children, the first name that comes to mind is Ray Winstone. The film will follow the titular Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphan boy living inside the walls of a Paris train station, but, according to the website, “when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy.” And with a supporting cast like that is there any wonder?
Being that Selznick’s book is described as “not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel,” adapting this thing visually could be difficult. But according to Scorsese’s longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, the film is going have very little dialogue and use 3D technology in ways that haven’t been seen since the days of Dial M for Murder and House of Wax (two other films you want associated with children), since he wasn’t totally onboard with Avatar. That sound you just heard was James Cameron having a mini-stroke.