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Laika Lays Off 65; Scraps Jack and Ben

Laika

The big animation layoff news of the past week came out of Oregon-based Laika. The Oregonian reported that the studio laid off 65 people and cancelled their post-Coraline followup, Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure. The CG film had a troubled production history and had been in development at Laika since 2005. Last year, the film’s original writer and director, Jorgen Klubien, left the project over “creative differences.” Mulan director Barry Cook was the new director when the studio pulled the plug. According to a Laika spokeswoman, the studio will make announcements about new projects early next year. My only observation is that if a film still has the words “Animated Adventure” in its title after four years of development, then it’s probably a wise bet to can the idea. Seriously, who’d ever go watch a film titled The Dark Knight: Live-Action Adventure.

(via Mark Mayerson)