It only took a decade, but stop-motion animation studio Laika’s adaptation of Wildwood—the YA book by illustrator Carson Ellis and The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy—is finally moving forward. Not only that, but in the words of Laika co-founder (and Wildwood director) Travis Knight, they’ve assembled “one helluva cast” for it.
He might be a little biased in favor of the movie, since he’s directing it and he co-founded the studio making it, but it’s not like you can think of a better way to describe this cast: Carey Mulligan, Mahershala Ali, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Angela Bassett, Jake Johnson, Charlie Day, Amandla Stenberg, Jemaine Clement, Maya Erskine, Tantoo Cardinal, Tom Waits, and Richard E. Grant. Even Colin Meloy had to admit that the cast is good on Twitter, and if you can’t trust the guy directing the thing, surely you can trust him! He wrote “The Mariner’s Revenge Song,” damn it!
Anyway, Wildwood is about a fantastical woodland wonderland that exists outside the border of Portland, Oregon, telling the story of a girl named Prue whose little brother gets kidnapped by birds. Laika has been on board to make the movie for so long that, when the project was first announced, the only full-length movie it had under its belt was its adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.
Since then, it has also released ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo And The Two Strings, and Missing Link, all of which have gotten Oscar nominations. Also, in between announcing the Wildwood movie and announcing the Wildwood cast, Travis Knight found time to reintroduce the world to a friendly little robot named Bumblebee. That means there are only a few degrees of separation between Colin Meloy from The Decemberists and Optimus Prime!
Deadline doesn’t say when Wildwood will come out in its write-up, but it does have a teaser image and it says the movie is now shooting at Laika’s studio.