Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana join ‘Kubo’ studio project

Australian actor Hugh Jackman poses for photographers during the red carpet of his latest film, a musical directed by Michael Gracey called ‘The Greatest Showman, in Mexico City December 13, 2017. — Reuters pic
Australian actor Hugh Jackman poses for photographers during the red carpet of his latest film, a musical directed by Michael Gracey called ‘The Greatest Showman, in Mexico City December 13, 2017. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, April 27 — Laika Entertainment is following Kubo and the Two Strings with a mystery animated movie that has already attracted Zoe Saldana, Hugh Jackman and Zach Galifianakis.

The next unnamed project from Laika will be “bursting with humour, heart, and a profound message of acceptance and finding one’s place,” according to the studio.

Already on board are Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar and Star Trek lead Zoe Saldana, The Greatest Showman and the X-Men movies’ departed Wolverine, Jackman, and Galifianakis of The Hangover trilogy and a rarer, more serious role in Tulip Fever.

Chris Butler of Laika’s second film, ParaNorman, directs.

Kubo and the Two Strings, one of the best animated films of 2016, propelled Laika Entertainment to new heights.

Laika’s 2009 debut, Coraline, took Neil Gaiman’s 2002 novel and turned it into an Oscar-nominated stop-motion animated movie.

“ParaNorman” followed three years later and, though it could not exceed “Coraline”‘s $120m box office, it likewise collected an Academy Award nomination, as with 2014’s “Boxtrolls.”

With a box office gross of US$77 million (RM302 mililon), Kubo and the Two Strings still made back its production budget, but was the first Laika production to generate less than US$100 million in cinema revenue.

Still, it was the studio’s biggest hit in terms of critical reception — two Academy nods, three wins from ten nominations at the animation industry’s Annie Awards, and scores of other accolades and nominations.

Annapurna Pictures co-produced Phantom Thread with Focus Features of Kubo fame, and is backing this fifth Laika film. — AFP-Relaxnews

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