Laika, the studio known for the Academy Award-nominated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, has announced The Night Gardener, a new project in conjunction with Bill Dubuque, creator of Netflix’s hit series Ozark. Laika’s CEO and president Travis Knight, who directed Kubo and the Two Strings and Paramount’s Bumblebee, will direct from Dubuque’s original screenplay.
Adding to the studio’s diverse catalog, The Night Gardener is a gritty neo-noir folktale centered on a young man in rural Missouri fighting to keep his family together in the wake of a tragedy. The film will paint an unflinching portrait of sacrifice, self-reliance, and revenge.
“The Night Gardener is a beautiful and timeless story that quickens the pulse as often as it breaks the heart,” says Knight. “Bill is a masterful storyteller. He’s crafted a lyrical world layered with complex characters, provocative ideas, and keenly felt emotion. It’s gonna be one helluva movie.”
“I'm delighted that Travis Knight saw in The Night Gardener a story worthy of the time intensive process and collective talent of Laika's in-house artisans,” says Dubuque. “Laika's creativity and dedication to detail is, in my opinion, as close as one can come to conjuring storytelling magic.”
The studio is currently in production on Wildwood, the first film set in Laika’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. Knight is directing the animated film, based on the bestselling fantasy novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for the rock group The Decemberists.