Laika, the animation studio behind hits like Coraline, ParaNorman and Kubo and the Two Strings, is expanding into new territory: live-action movies. This is big news for Oregon-based studio who just celebrated its 15th birthday last July and has just five animated features under its belt. Notably, Laika will continue production on its upcoming sixth feature while also exploring the exciting terrain of live-action.
Laika‘s expansion into live-action kicks off with optioning author and screenwriter John Brownlow‘s upcoming first novel Seventeen. No specific plot details about the book have been shared at this time, but we do know it’s being categorized as an “action thriller.” Laika secured the rights to Seventeen following an “intense” bidding war, as the studio notes. Brownlow is perhaps best known as the writer of the 2003 Gwyneth Paltrow feature Sylvia. Brownlow also penned The Miniaturist, the three-part BBC limited series starring Anya Taylor-Joy, in addition to serving as an executive producer.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be developing Seventeen for the screen with LAIKA,” Brownlow comments in a statement released via Laika. “As a long-time fan of LAIKA’s movies for their vision, heart, craft, intelligence and ambition, I couldn’t have hoped for the novel or the universe it inhabits to have found a better or more exciting home. I’m beyond honored to be part of their plans for the future.”
Travis Knight, Laika‘s President and CEO, said of the studio’s expansion into live-action, “For the past 15 years, LAIKA has been committed to making movies that matter. Across mediums and genres, our studio has fused art, craft, and technology in service of bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. With Seventeen, LAIKA is taking that philosophy in an exciting new direction.”
Knight continued, speaking specifically about Seventeen and teasing its tone: “Seventeen is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action, and raw emotion. John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. Seventeen is a thriller with soul, a sinuous adrenaline-fueled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”
Seventeen is still in the early stages of production, with no official release date set. We’ll keep you updated as this project develops.