Andy Serkis Will Reportedly Direct and Star in a Gritty ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ Movie
In between mo-capping his way through Star Wars and the Planet of the Apes movies, Andy Serkis is also making his directorial debut with Jungle Book: Origins, a gritty take on the classic Rudyard Kipling story about a young orphan boy raised in the wild among talking animals — and no, Serkis is not playing all of the animals. Before that film even hits theaters, the actor and mo-cap innovator has reportedly attached himself to another gritty reimagining of a classic story, this time from the world of fairy tales.
According to The Tracking Board, Serkis is apparently attached to direct and star in Steelskin (sure, why not), a darker take on the already-sorta-dark Rumpelstiltskin story, which first originated in Germany before those famous Brothers Grimm collected it for their 1812 anthology Children’s and Household Tales.
The original story tells of a father who falsely claims that his daughter can spin straw into gold, so the king locks her away and orders her to prove it or he’ll cut off her head. A magical imp creature appears and fulfills the king’s escalating demands over a series of days with larger and larger piles of straw, each time requesting a trinket in exchange — but on the third day, the girl has nothing left to give, so she promises her first-born child. When the child arrives, Rumpelstiltskin offers to let the girl keep it if she can guess his name in three days. She does, and various versions of the story either have the imp running away angrily or furiously stomping his foot into the ground and tearing himself in two.
Serkis’ film will be a live-action update scripted by Snow White and the Huntsman writer Hossein Amini, though it’s unclear just what the title Steelskin means — is the imp’s skin made of steel? Is this Rumpelstiltskin retold in the style of Real Steel? It may be some time before we learn more about the project, as Serkis is quite busy filming War for the Planet of the Apes and is set to reprise the role of Supreme Leader Snoke in at least one more Star Wars sequel.