Portland-based stop-motion animation studio Laika is gearing up for their fifth feature. Zoe Saldana, Hugh Jackman, and Zack Galifianakis will be utilizing their voice talents for the film, which is simply being referred to as “Film Five” at this point in development. No release date has been set.
Laika will be partnering with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures for the feature, as the studio’s previous deal with Universal (through Focus Features) has ended. Annapurna will distribute in the U.S.
Chris Butler, director of ParaNorman, will be helming Film Five. Plot details are being kept under wraps but is described as a globe-trotting adventure-comedy “bursting with humor, heart and a profound message of acceptance and finding one’s place.”
Fans were worried about the future of Laika when president and CEO Travis Knight stepped away to direct a live-action Transformers spinoff film, Bumblebee, for Paramount. This announcement gladly eliminates any doubts to be had.
In a statement, Knight said, “Our next film represents an evolutionary shift for Laika. It’s an exciting bridge to our future. Director Chris Butler and the wizards at Laika have crafted a moving work of art, layered with wit and imagination and soul. Plus it’s really, really funny. It’s a privilege to partner with Megan and her exceptional team at Annapurna to bring this beautiful original story to the world.”
Founded by Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight, Laika first burst onto the scene in 2009 with Coraline. They later followed up with ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings. Each film received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Additionally, Kubo was nominated for Best Visual Effects, only the second animated film ever to be nominated for the category, after The Nightmare Before Christmas.
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