Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, and more are heading to the small screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple TV+ has struck a “multi-year deal” with The Maurice Sendak Foundation to produce children’s shows and specials based on the late (and great) author’s works.
Fans concerned about the faithfulness of the adaptations can rest easy: THR reports that Sendak’s long-time friend and collaborator Arthur Yorinks—a writer and director of books, plays, operas, films, radio works, and more—will be helming each project through his Night Kitchen Studios. In addition to co-founding a non-profit children’s theater company named after The Night Kitchen, the pair wrote five books together, including Mommy?, the only pop-up book in Sendak’s oeuvre. In 2018, Yorinks was also commissioned by The Maurice Sendak Foundation to adapt Where the Wild Things Are for the stage, with the full-length play to premiere in fall 2023. (Here’s a delightful account, from Yorinks himself, of the start of their friendship.)
It’s not clear yet which of Sendak’s books and illustrations will make it to series, or whether the adaptations will be live-action or animated. (Our money’s on the latter.) Apple TV+ also hasn’t announced a release date or any other cast/crew details.
This is far from the first adaptation of Sendak’s works. Where the Wild Things Are was first turned into an animated short in 1973 (directed and animated by Gene Deitch, who also directed the 1987 adaptation of In the Night Kitchen), and then into a full-length CGI/live-action adaption by Spike Jonze in 2009.