The Portable Door: Christoph Waltz & Guy Pearce to star in fantasy comedy film
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Muppets creator The Jim Henson Company is in the process of developing a film adaptation of The Portable Door, based on author Tom Holt’s fantasy adventure comedy J.W. Wells & Co. novel series. Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz and Emmy winner Guy Pearce have signed on to star opposite Patrick Gibson (The OA, Tolkien) with Waltz, Pearce, and Gibson portraying the roles of villain Humphrey Wells, shape-shifting goblin Dennis Tanner and lead character Paul Carpenter, respectively.
“We were especially drawn to the crowd-pleasing franchise potential of The Portable Door, with its relatable, gritty humor made popular in shows like The Office, and its rich, Harry Potter-like, high-fantasy setting,” Producer and CEO of The Jim Henson Company, Lisa Henson said in a statement. “Once we were able to entice accomplished and versatile director Jeffrey Walker to join the project, we knew we had someone perfectly suited to pull together this unique tone and ground the film for its audience.”
First published in 2003, The Portable Door was the first installment in the Tom Holt’s J.W. Wells & Co series which was followed by six sequels: In Your Dreams (2004); Earth, Air, Fire and Custard (2005); You Don’t Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But It Helps (2006); The Better Mousetrap (2008); May Contain Traces of Magic (2009); Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages (2011). The first two novels revolved around the character of Paul Carpenter while the following books each have its own protagonist.
The official synopsis for The Portable Door reads: “Starting a new job is always stressful (especially when you don’t particularly want one), but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J. W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organisation that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they’re not, of course…They’re away with the goblins.”
Waltz’s Humphrey Wells is the CEO of J.W. Wells & Co, who is described as a charismatic villain that is disrupting the world of magic by bringing modern corporate strategy to ancient magical practices. While Pearce’s Dennis Tanner is a shape-shifting goblin trapped in the organization’s middle management.
The Portable Door film will be directed by Jeffrey Walker from a screenplay written by Leon Ford. It is co-production between The Jim Henson Company, Story Bridge Films and Archlight Films with Jim Henson’s Lisa Henson and Blanca Lista and Story Bridge’s Todd Fellman set as producers.
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