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LAIKA to Adapt Susanna Clarke’s ‘Piranesi’

Travis Knight, president and CEO of the Oregon-based stop-motion studio, will direct the animated feature film adaptation of the best-selling fantasy novel.

Acclaimed stop-motion animation studio LAIKA has announced its acquisition of the international best-selling novel Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. The studio’s president & CEO, Travis Knight, known for his work on Kubo and the Two Strings and Bumblebee, will helm the animated adaptation of Clarke’s celebrated fantasy.

Piranesi, a New York Times and Sunday Times best-seller, has sold more than four million copies and won the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction. The novel’s enchanting and surreal narrative is set in a labyrinthine house filled with endless rooms and statues, where tides crash through hallways and a mysterious figure known as The Other conducts cryptic research. As Piranesi explores this vast and enigmatic world, he uncovers secrets that challenge his understanding of reality.

Piranesi is a treasure, and very dear to me,” said Knight. “As a filmmaker, I can scarcely imagine a more joyful experience than wandering through the worlds Susanna dreamed into being. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and with Piranesi, Susanna has created a beautiful, devastating and ultimately life-affirming work of art. I’m humbled that she chose LAIKA as her home.”

Clarke, the author of the novel, expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “Animation is one of my favorite things. I’ve been inspired by so many animated movies; and LAIKA has produced such extraordinary work — movies like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, full of beauty and wonder and weirdness. I’m thrilled that Piranesi has found a home with them and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

Piranesi follows the success of Clarke’s previous novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which was adapted into a limited series for Apple TV+ in 2015. Here’s the official description of the book:

“Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

“There is one other person in the house ― a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.”

Alongside Piranesi, the Hillsboro, OR-based studio is currently working on its next animated feature Wildwood, based on the fantasy novels by Colin Meloy, and developing The Night Gardener, an original idea by Bill Dubuque.

Source: LAIKA