LAIKA, the company that most recently brought us The Boxtrolls, has announced that they plan to continue partnering with the studio Focus Features for three more projects. Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel and LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight made the announcement today.
LAIKA is known for creating incredibly intricate and engrossing stop motion films including Coraline in 2009 and ParaNorman in 2012. Coraline earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year’s 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI) with an AFI Award. ParaNorman was cited as best animated feature film by more critics’ groups than any other 2012 animated feature as well as earning a BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
The Boxtrolls opened last weekend with an impressive 17.3 million gross, marking it the biggest debut yet for a LAIKA movie.
Schlessel commented on the partnership renewal,
“I am very pleased to continue our relationship with our friends at LAIKA. Travis and his company have elevated the art of animated films and we are proud to be part of their success.”
“Focus and LAIKA are kindred spirits. Over eight years and three films we’ve forged an incredible bond over a shared love for, and commitment to, bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. Peter and his superlative team have created a welcoming home for original voices and enriching, challenging filmmaking. They’re the bravest studio in the world. We look forward to many ongoing cinematic adventures with our Focus/Universal family. The best is yet to come.”
There is no word on what the next three movies will be or what the time line will entail.
Focus Features has officially set the third installment of “Insidious” for April 3, 2015. Insidious: Chapter 3 will be directed by Leigh Whannell, who wrote the first two films. The upcoming film will also come from a script by Whannell as well.
The first two films starred Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins and Barbara Hershey, but it’s unclear if any will return. There is no word yet on what the exact plot of the film will follow.
eOne will distribute the picture in Canada, the U.K. and Spain while Sony will distribute the project to the rest of the world.
Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions, which produced both “Insidious” films, is producing the next installment along with Oren Peli and James Wan, who directed the first two films.
The Signal, the upcoming science fiction thriller from Focus Features, is set to be released in limited theaters on June 13. Then the movie will hit more theaters on June 20 and even more on June 27.
In The Signal, three college students on a road trip across the Southwest experience a detour; the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. The trio find themselves drawn to an eerily isolated area when suddenly, everything goes dark. When one of the students, Nic, regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare…
The Signal stars Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp and Laurence Fishburne and is directed by William Eubank.
Tom Hardy, the man who rocks a sweater vest like nobody’s business, has been officially cast as Elton John in Rocket Pictures’ upcoming biopic, Rocketman. Focus Features has also signed on to give the film a major U.S. release.
Rocketman is described as being “a larger-than-life movie musical spectacle that tells the story of a child prodigy turned music legend.” John will re-record many of his iconic hits to parallel the emotional beats of the film.
You might recognize Hardy as the man behind the Bane mask in The Dark Knight Rises and one of those Bondurant boys in Lawless (specifically Forrest but that isn’t the point.) Hardy joining the biopic is the end of a lengthy cast search for the film that is being co-financed by AI Film and directed by Michael Gracey. The original screenplay is written by Academy Award nominee Lee Hall.
Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw said,
“Tom is a stellar talent who will add extraordinary depth and nuance in bringing Elton’s story to life. We are excited to have such a gifted actor on board, and equally excited to be in the hands of Peter Schlessel and the entire Focus Features team.”
The film is scheduled to shoot in fall 2014.
Focus Features recently announced that it has acquired the rights to the film, Dallas Buyers Club, which is currently in post-production. The film will be released in a domestic theatrical release in the second half of 2013. The company has also acquired Latin American rights to the feature. Focus CEO James Schamus and Focus president Andrew Karpen made the announcement today. Continue reading Focus Features Acquires Domestic Theatrical Release of Dallas Buyers Club
Next week The Children’s Charity of Southern California will begin hosting an online auction for two exclusive props used in LAIKA and Focus Features’ comedy thriller ParaNorman, which is Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. Continue reading Unique PARANORMAN props to be auctioned off to benefit Variety The Children’s Charity