Focus Features is currently filming a new stop-motion animation film called ParaNorman. The film is set for release on August 17, 2012, and marks the second feature the studio has partnered with LAIKA on. They released Coraline, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s kids’ book of the same name. They have also teamed for a third unnamed project, which will be released in 2014. Chris Butler (Coraline storyboard supervisor) wrote and will co-direct the film with Sam Fell (The Tale of Despereaux, Flushed Away).
The voice cast includes, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In, The Road) in the lead, with Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill (Titanic), Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Elaine Stritch (30 Rock).
Here is a description of the film:
In the comedy thriller, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman, who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
The photo above gives us a glimpse at the concept art for the film. I like the look from what I see so far, and am interested in seeing more art from the film. For more details check out the press release below.
Official Press Release:
Arianne Sutner, animation producer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Travis Knight are producing ParaNorman. Academy Award winner Brian Van’t Hul (King Kong, Coraline) is the movie’s visual effects supervisor; Emmy Award winner Nelson Lowry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride) is its production designer; and Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr. Fox, the Academy Award-winning Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is the director of photography on ParaNorman.
Mr. Schamus commented, “Everyone at Focus is proud to be partnered with LAIKA again on their newest wondrous creations. Travis Knight is both an extraordinary businessman and a visionary artist who we know will shepherd these projects with imagination and originality. We’re thrilled to have ParaNorman as our next movie together, one which marries the stunning visuals of 3D stop-motion with a compelling, heartfelt, and funny story anchored by a terrifically relatable underdog hero.”
Mr. Knight added, “ParaNorman is a story of intense beauty and emotional truth. It’s audacious, has genuine heart, and is funny as hell. We’re incredibly excited to share this wonderful story with the world. And we’re privileged to work again with Focus Features, with whom we share a commitment to bold, distinctive, and enduring films. LAIKA and Focus are truly kindred spirits. James Schamus and his extraordinary team have built their reputation on original thinking, old-fashioned muscle, and an unerring fidelity to creatively rich and thematically challenging cinema. We’re thrilled to extend the relationship that began with Coraline and look forward to being a part of the Focus/Universal family for years to come.”
What are your thougths on this news? Are you a fan of stop-motion animation?