Travis Knight

Source: Courtesy of Laika

Travis Knight

Laika, the independent Oregon-based animation powerhouse behind Coraline, Kubo And The Two Strings and Missing Link, is epanding into live-action filmmaking.

The studio, currently in production on its as yet untitled sixth animated feature, has optioned Seventeen, the upcoming first novel by screenwriter John Brownlow (The Minaturist, Sylvia) following what sources said was an intense bidding war.

“For the past15 years, Laika has been committed to making movies that matter,” president and CEO Travis 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.”

Knight continued, “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.”

Brownlow wrote Sylvia Plath drama Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig and wrote and served as executive producer on the three-part BBC limited series The Minaturist starring 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.

UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton 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, while Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group, and CAA.