Laika has begun production on its third feature The Boxtrolls. Focus Features holds worldwide rights while Universal Pictures International will distribute outside North America and eOne will release in Canada.

The project is based on Alan Snow’s bestselling adventure novel Here Be Monsters. Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable direct. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are among the voice cast alongside Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette and Elle Fanning.

Focus Features has set an Oct 17 2014 US release for Laika’s third project after Coraline and ParaNorman, which is in the running for Bafta’s animated film prize on Sunday [10].

The Boxtrolls tells of a subterranean community of oddballs threatened with extinction by an exterminator who needs to impress the posh, cheese-loving  society above ground.

Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris (Mad Men), Simon Pegg (Star Trek), Nick Frost (of Focus’ upcoming The World’s End), Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan round out the key cast.

Focus CEO James Schamus and LAIKA president and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement on Thursday [7]. Knight and David Ichioka will produce.