Today LAIKA announced it has optioned the film rights to the recently released novel “Wildwood”. The novel was written by Decemberists front man Colin Meloy with the book illustrations done by Carson Ellis. This announcement is more proof that Oregon’s creative industry is in full swing on many different levels and now those entities are collaborating. The novel is the first of a planned three books set in an alternative version of Portland focusing on Forest Park. LAIKA’s announcement appeared in this Variety article.
A few quotes from the Variety Article:
“It’s a story in the grand tradition of Tolkien, as big as ‘Lord of the Rings’ with a wonderful contemporary quality as well,” Laika prexy-CEO Travis Knight told Variety. “Nothing of its kind has been attempted in our medium. You have these epic scenes alongside very nuanced character moments, which are the two hardest things to do in stop-motion. It’s exciting to imagine how this might all come together.”
“Hands down, there is no other movie studio in the world besides Laika that I would entrust ‘Wildwood’ to,” Meloy said.
“When we visited the studio and saw all the brilliant creative work happening there — someone building a waist-high New England village, someone else sewing pinhead-sized rivets on tiny blue jeans — we were won over completely,” Ellis said.
A few weeks ago LAIKA perhaps tipped their hand when they released this engaging book trailer of “Wildwood”. LAIKA’s intent is to develop all three of the books but no announcement has been made on whether or not this project is the film slated for LAIKA’s 2014 film due to be released by Focus Features. Stay tuned as this announcement definitely signifies that positive things are happening in Oregon’s Animation community. If LAIKA was to move forward and produce film adaptations for all three novels, we will have a very busy creative community for a long time.
This announcement was also covered in the Portland Business Journal and the Oregonian