Last month, word came that production was underway on Laika’s “Film Five”. Details were sparse, with no title and only a few casting details released. Now, the Portland-based animation studio has revealed that its fifth and most ambitious film to date is called Missing Link.
Missing Link is set to be released in the Spring of 2019 and boasts an all-star cast including Zoe Saldana, Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Ching Valdez-Aran, Amrita Acharia, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, and David Walliams.
The film will be distributed in the U.S. by Annapurna Pictures, as the studio’s previous deal with Universal (through Focus Features) has ended. AGC International, the sales and distribution division of AGC Studios, is handling international sales. Laika President & CEO Travis Knight is preparing to meet with foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Festival.
Chris Butler, director of ParaNorman, will be writing and directing Missing Link. Laika’s head of production Arianne Sutner is producing with Mr. Knight.
In a press release on Laika’s website, Mr. Knight spoke about the film, saying, “Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder. Led by our visionary director Chris Butler, LAIKA has once again blended fine art, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology to achieve something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging. Commingling keenly felt emotion, madcap humor, and retina-bursting visuals, Missing Link is a kaleidoscopic cinematic experience unlike any other. It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”
The studio created a whopping 110 sets with 65 unique locations to achieve the scale of the film.
Hugh Jackman plays the charismatic Sir Lionel Frost. He considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.
Zach Galifianakis is the titular Mr. Link: the slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast upon whom Sir Lionel’s dreams depend. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to seek out his rumored distant relatives, he enlists Sir Lionel’s help in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.
Together with Zoe Saldana’s Adelina Fortnight, an independent and resourceful adventurer who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster of a ride. Along the way, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission. Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family film.
Speaking on the voice actors, Knight notes, “Zoe brings an unflappable ardor and a witty playfulness to Adelina, and Zach’s performance as Link is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but a beautifully nuanced balance of innocence and vulnerability. It was a treat to be able to join this eclectic gang of adventurers on their journey across the world.” Character details for the rest of the film’s cast were not revealed.
So, are you excited for Laika’s next feature? Let us know your thoughts down below!