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LAIKA Expands into Live-Action

The cutting-edge studio known for their innovations in stop-motion and CG on features including ‘Coraline,’ ‘ParaNorman,’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ announces plans to bring screenwriter John Brownlow’s first novel ‘Seventeen’ to the big screen.

LAIKA, home of modern stop-motion classics produced with cutting-edge creative approaches, is expanding into live-action. Best known for the Academy Award-nominated animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link, the animation studio has discovered new processes for integrating practical and digital visual effects to make the “worlds” in their movies more authentic. The studio has invented new systems and technologies for liberating the camera to make its films more cinematic, centered around their pioneering use of rapid-prototyping 3D printing to generate thousands of replacement faces for their puppets.

The studio has announced it has optioned “Seventeen,” the upcoming first novel by screenwriter John Brownlow. Currently in production on its sixth animated feature film, LAIKA secured the rights in an intense bidding war and plans to adapt it as a live-action project. The announcement was made by Travis Knight, President & CEO. 

“For the past 15 years, LAIKA has been committed to making movies that matter,” commented Knight.  “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.”

“'Seventeen’ is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action, and raw emotion,” continued Knight.  “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.”

Brownlow is well known for his film and television credits. He is the screenwriter of the feature film Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. He wrote and executive produced the three-part BBC limited series The Minaturist, which starred Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit). He also wrote the four-episode limited series Fleming, which starred Dominic Cooper as “James Bond” author Ian Fleming. 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be developing ‘Seventeen’ for the screen with LAIKA,” added Brownlow. “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.”

UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton has preemptively acquired worldwide publishing rights to “Seventeen.” Hanover Square will publish the book in the US in 2022. LAIKA was represented in the deal by CAA. Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis LLP, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group and CAA.

Source: LAIKA