Laika and Focus Features, the two companies behind the Academy Award-nominated Coraline and ParaNorman as well as this year’s animated film The Boxtrolls, have begun production on their fourth collaboration, Kubo and the Two Strings. The film will be directed by Laika president and CEO Travis Knight.
Based on an original screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, Kubo and The Two Strings is a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan. It is being brought to life at Laika’s Oregon studios via the company’s innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique.
The voice cast includes Academy Award winners Matthew McConaughey and Charlize Theron; Academy Award nominees Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro; and Art Parkinson, who plays Rickon Stark on Game of Thrones and who is providing the voice for the title character of Kubo.
In the epic fantasy, kind-hearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while 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.
“Kubo and the Two Strings is a rare gem,” said 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.”
The film is scheduled to open in theaters in August 2016.