LAIKA Planning a Wildwood Feature Film
Wildwood, the first children’s novel from Colin Meloy (lead singer/songwriter for The Decemberists), has been acquired by the Portland-based animated studio, LAIKA. Meloy’s Wildwood will likely follow in the footsteps of LAIKA’s other film projects – Coraline and the upcoming movie, ParaNorman – as a stop-motion animated feature film.
“Wildwood is a marvel, an exquisite, staggering, and lyrical work of art,” stated Travis Knight, President & CEO of LAIKA. “It’s an uncannily perfect fit for LAIKA, commingling the time-honored qualities of classic fantasies and fairy tales with a bold, contemporary sensibility. Colin’s captivating, melodic prose and Carson’s gorgeous, spellbinding illustrations form a rich bounty of ideas, language, and imagery. Wildwood is a wonderful work of literature, and LAIKA is fully committed to honoring it with an exceptional, groundbreaking film.”
Commenting on the LAIKA’s involvement in bringing his book to the big screen, writer Meloy stated, “Hands down, there is no other movie studio in the entire world besides LAIKA that I would entrust Wildwood to. Carson [Ellis] and I were prepared to stonewall any and all suitors for the movie rights, so close was this book to our hearts. However, when LAIKA came calling, our defenses promptly came down. There is no doubt in my mind that they will come to this story with the passion, imagination and general awesomeness required to make this book into a truly beautiful animated film.”
“I’m a stop motion enthusiast,” stated Ellis, “and I’ve been a fan of LAIKA since we saw Coraline a couple of years back. When we visited the studio and saw all the brilliant creative work happening there — someone building a waist-high New England village in painstaking detail, someone else sewing pinhead-sized rivets on tiny blue jeans — we were won over completely. It’s an amazing place staffed by patient, meticulous, super-talented people who wouldn’t work there if they didn’t love stop-motion animation. I’m so excited to see what Wildwood will look like in their hands.”
Wildwood was released by HarperCollins’ Balzer + Bray on August 30, 2011.
More on Wildwood [Courtesy of LAIKA]:
Wildwood, the first book in an epic middle-grade fantasy series full of magic, wonder, and danger set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Oregon, tells the story of Prue McKeel, whose ordinary life is changed forever when her younger brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, an enchanted and forbidding forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in — or at least returned to tell of it. Within this secret world, Prue and her friend Curtis embark on a rescue mission and find themselves entwined in a violent struggle for freedom amidst warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions.
More on Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis:
Colin Meloy once wrote Ray Bradbury a letter, informing him that he “considered himself an author too.” He was 10 years old at the time. Since then, Colin has gone on to be the singer and songwriter for the band The Decemberists, where he channels all of his weird ideas into weird songs. This is his first time channeling those ideas into a novel.
Carson Ellis, who first rose to prominence for creating The Decemberists’ album covers, illustrated the bestsellers The Composer is Dead (Lemony Snicket) and The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart), as well the notable children’s books The Beautiful Stories of Life, Stagecoach Sal and Dillweed’s Revenge.
Colin and Carson live with their son, Hank, in Portland, Oregon, quite near the Impassable Wilderness.