In The News:
The magic continues. LAIKA and Focus Features, the companies behind Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, today announced production on their fourth collaboration, Kubo and the Two Strings. LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight and Focus CEO Peter Schlessel made the announcement today.
Based on an original screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (ParaNorman) and marking the directorial debut of Mr. Knight, Kubo And The Two Strings is a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan that will be brought to life with the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro and Art Parkinson (who will voice the character of Kubo). In the epic fantasy, scruffy, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while devotedly caring for his mother in their sleepy shoreside village. It is a quiet existence - until a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. Suddenly on the run from gods and monsters, Kubo's chance for survival rests on finding the magical suit of armor once worn by his fallen father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known. Summoning courage, Kubo embarks on a thrilling odyssey as he faces his family's history, navigates the elements, and bravely fights for the earth and the stars."
The movie, slated to open domestically on August 19th, 2016, will be first movie in the new three-picture partnership between LAIKA and Focus. "Kubo and the Two Strings is a rare gem," said Mr. Knight. "It's a gripping yarn woven from Japanese folktales and mythology, with lost civilizations, mystical origami, noble heroes, star-crossed lovers, and blood-curdling monsters. At once epic and intimate, Kubo is a funny, intense, and ultimately uplifting fairy tale draped in some of the most bizarre and exciting imagery I've ever seen. Most importantly, it's deeply moving. It's a story that means something, a story that deserves to be told. In short, it's a LAIKA movie. And with a poetic script, sublime cast, and our freakishly talented artists and craftspeople, Kubo will be a strange, stirring, and altogether stunning film. I can't wait to share it with the world." "LAIKA raises the bar on animated movies as a creative art," said Mr. Schlessel. "Each picture Focus does with them is unique yet identifiably theirs. Travis and Arianne have convened a wonderful group of animators, actors, and artisans to tell a story that moviegoers of all ages will be transported by."
The New York Times speaks with director James Marsh about what it was like to direct the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Fascinating video piece.
On MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," KILL THE MESSENGER star/producer Jeremy Renner and director Michael Cuesta talk with Hayes about Gary Webb and the imporantance of getting his story out and onto the big screen with this movie. Smart stuff.
Jeremy Renner came on the The Daily Show to talk with Jon Stewart about KILL THE MESSENGER, and its amazing story about investigative reporter Gary Webb - and what happened to him.
Rosemarie DeWitt showed up on the Today Show to chat with the whole gang about what it was like to play Jeremy Renner's wife in KILL THE MESSENGER. See what she says.
Back Lot Music/Universal Music announces the 11/4 release of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING soundtrack -- both digitall and on CD -- with a score from acclaimed Icelandic Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Jóhannsson, who met TTOE director James Marsh in 2010, was fascinating by both the director and the subject. "I'm a big fan of James as director - ever since I saw Man on Wire years ago," recalls Jóhannsson, "and I have also always been fascinated by Stephen Hawking, both as a writer and theorist as well as a human being. I approached the music very much on emotional terms." To create his score, Jóhannsson played with conceits inherent in the story. "It's a film about an astrophysicist, but it's in essence a love story," explains Jóhannsson. The music stems in a way from the tension between the Hawking the man and Hawking the scientist. Most of the score is derived from very simple elements that are announced in the first frames of the film -- a four-note piano ostinato which then slowly expands into more complex forms and appears and re-appears evolved, deconstructed and re-assembled in various renderings throughout the film."
Get the pulsing score for KILL THE MESSENGER today. Nathan Johnson, who previous distinguished himself with striking scores for films likeLooper and Brick, composed the music for Michael Cuesta's political thriller starring Jeremy Renner. You can score your own copy of the soundtrack from Back Lot Music now at iTunes.
Jeremy Renner came on The Tonight Show to talk with Jimmy Falllon about why KILL THE MESSENGER was his dream project. See why.
In this special featurette for The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Renner joins the KILL THE MESSENGER filmmakers and people who knew Webb to talk about this real life reporter and his legacy. Fascinating.
With THE BOXTROLLS in cinemas now, Focus CEO Peter Schlessel and LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight announced that the two companies are joining forces for three more animated films. Focus opened THE BOXTROLLS nationwide last weekend to a $17.3 million gross, marking the biggest debut yet for a LAIKA movie. THE BOXTROLLS follows the successful and acclaimed Focus and LAIKA animated films CORALINE (2009) and PARANORMAN (2012), each of which grossed over $100 million worldwide. CORALINE earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Oscar 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; and earned BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature Film. Mr. Schlessel commented, "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," said Mr. Knight. "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."