Laika has announced its next movie, Missing Link, which will focus on a Sasquatch and his human friends’ attempt to find the rest of his species.
The movie was announced at the 71st Cannes Film Festival, where the president and CEO of Laika, Travis Knight, will be meeting with people about foreign rights. He described the movie as “a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging.”
Casting for the movie has also been announced. While it was already known that its leads would include Hugh Jackman (perhaps best known as Wolverine in the X-Men films) and Zoe Saldana (Neytiri from Avatar, Gamora from the Marvel Cinematic Universe), we can now add the likes of Zach Galifianankis, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia, David Walliams and Ching Valdes-Aran.
Laika Entertainment, LLC., headquartered in Oregon, is famous for its stop-motion animated movies. It had huge success with its first two films, Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2011); 2014’s The Boxtrolls was less beloved, but still successful, while 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings was arguably their best film, despite a poor performance at the box office.
In this new movie, a charismatic adventurer named Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman) seeks to uncover the secrets of various myths and legends, despite being laughed at by his high-society acquaintances. His hunt for Bigfoot, the fabled “missing link,” leads him to Mr. Link (Galifianakis), who seems to be the last of his species. However, he may have distant relatives in the valley of Shangri-La. To find it, the pair must team up with Adelina Fortnight (Saldana), the only person who has a map to the legendary location.
This may be the studio’s most ambitious project yet. While Kubo and the Two Strings got an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects, producer Arianne Sutner says that Missing Link will have an astounding 110 sets for 65 different locations, all so that they can “achieve the film’s scale, majesty and geographic beauty.”
The difficult art of stop-motion seems to be having something of a renaissance between Laika and Aardman Animations. That company recently announced a sequel to 2000’s Chicken Run.
Missing Link is expected in theaters sometime in spring of next year.