Laika Teams With ‘Ozark’ Creator Bill Dubuque for Neo-Noir Film ‘The Night Gardener’

·2-min read

Laika is teaming with the creator of “Ozark” for a new stop-motion animated feature described as a “gritty neo-noir folktale.” Bill Dubuque, who created Netflix series “Ozark,” wrote the original screenplay for “The Night Gardener,” which will be directed by Laika’s CEO and President Travis Knight, who previously helmed the Laika feature “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

Described as a gritty folktale, the new film follows a young man in rural Missouri fighting to keep his family together in the wake of a tragedy. The film will paint an unflinching portrait of sacrifice, self-reliance and revenge, per an official description.

“’The Night Gardener’ is a beautiful and timeless story that quickens the pulse as often as it breaks the heart,” said Knight in a statement. “Bill is a masterful storyteller. He’s crafted a lyrical world layered with complex characters, provocative ideas, and keenly felt emotion. It’s gonna be one helluva movie.”

“I’m delighted that Travis Knight saw in ‘The Night Gardener’ a story worthy of the time intensive process and collective talent of Laika’s in-house artisans,” said Dubuque. “Laika’s creativity and dedication to detail is, in my opinion, as close as one can come to conjuring storytelling magic.”

The studio is currently in production on “Wildwood,” the first film set in Laika’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. Knight is directing the animated film, based on the bestselling fantasy novel written by Colin Meloy, lead singer and songwriter for the rock group The Decemberists.

Knight previously made the leap to live-action with the “Transformers” prequel film “Bumblebee” and was in line to direct Sony’s “Uncharted” movie before dropping out for scheduling reasons. Between “The Night Gardener” and “Wildwood,” it sounds like Knight will be tied up with Laika films for the foreseeable future.

In addition to 2016’s “Kubo and the Two Strings,” Laika’s previous films include “Coraline” (2009), “ParaNorman” (2012), “The Boxtrolls” (2014) and “Missing Link” (2019).

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