Laika has announced its next animated feature, Wildwood. It will be directed by Travis Knight, whose previous directorial efforts are Laika’s own Kubo and the Two Strings and the Paramount hybrid Bumblebee.
Here’s what the studio revealed about the project, which will be its first film since 2019’s Missing Link.
- Wildwood is based on the bestselling novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists, and illustrated by artist Carson Ellis.
- Synopsis: Beyond Portland’s city limits lies Wildwood. You’re not supposed to go there. You’re not even supposed to know it exists. But Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her baby brother Mac has been taken by a murder of crows into the forest’s depths, and she – along with her hapless classmate Curtis – is going to get him back. Prue might think she’s too old for fairytales, but she’s just found herself at the center of one. One filled with strange talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. Wildwood is a tale of love, loss, sacrifice and secrets, and of the magic you can find on your doorstep, if you’re willing to look for it.
- Knight, who is also president and CEO of Laika, explained why he was attracted to the project: “As a deep-dyed native son of Oregon, I have rainwater, microbrew, and fair-trade coffee coursing through my veins. With Wildwood, I have the opportunity to tell a madly ambitious story of magic, wonder, and danger set in the place I grew up. My very own Portland will join that pantheon of unforgettable fantasy realms, with a stirring epic that will kindle imaginations, lift spirits, and break hearts.”
- Wildwood will be the lensed by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (The Lion King remake, The Passion of the Christ). Other key members of the team include producer Arianne Sutner and screenwriter Chris Butler.
- Wildwood is currently in production at Laika’s facility outside Portland, Oregon. No release date has been set.
- Wildwood will be Laika’s sixth feature. Its previous films are Coraline (2009), Paranorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), and Missing Link (2019).