A rudderless young manÂ begins to suspect somethingâ€™s a little off about the London firm where heâ€™s just landed an entry-level gigâ€”and heâ€™s not wrong. For instance: one of the middle managers is secretly a shape-shifting goblin. Thatâ€™s the set-up for The Portable Door, a book series set to become a movie with some very cool talent behind it.
The Portable Doorâ€”based on Tom Holtâ€™s series of satiricalÂ fantasy novels that begins with the title book (a later entry is titled You Donâ€™t Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But It Helps)â€”is getting the big-screen treatment, taking us into the world of the mysterious J.W. Wells & Co., a seemingly ordinary corporate firm that (surprise!) specialises in magic.
The Jim Henson Company (The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) will co-produce, which no doubt means itâ€™ll be bringing its own magical touch to the special effects. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company has high hopes for the project, with CEO Lisa Henson praising its â€œcrowd-pleasing franchise potentialâ€ as well as â€œits relatable, gritty humour made popular in shows like The Office, and its rich, Harry Potter-like, high-fantasy setting.â€
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Christoph Waltz (Alita: Battle Angel) is set to star as â€œcharismatic villain Humphrey Wells, the CEO of the company, [who] is disrupting the world of magic by bringing modern corporate strategy to ancient magical practices,â€ with Guy Pearce (Alien: Covenant) playing â€œthe shape-shifting goblin trapped in the organisationâ€™s middle management.â€ The OAâ€™s Patrick Gibson will play befuddledÂ protagonist Paul Carpenter, with TV veterans Jeffrey Walker directing and Leon Ford adapting the script.
The Portable Door sounds intriguingâ€”not just because we love to see Waltz in anything, and heâ€™ll definitely make an excellent boss-from-hell type, but thatâ€™s certainly a big part of it. The film is still in the pre-production stages so thereâ€™s zero word on a release date, but weâ€™ll be keeping our comedic-fantasy radars alert for more.