Laika, Phil Lord and Chris Miller Team for Live-Action Film ‘Crumble’ From Director Brian Duffield

Laika is getting serious about its live-action output, with a new project called “Crumble” to be written and directed by Brian Duffield and produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.

“Crumble” will tell the tale of “a married couple who go on a world-traversing adventure in the hope of finding a cure to an ancient curse.”

The announcement was made by Laika’s president of live-action film and series Matt Levin. “We’re so excited to partner with Brian and the entire team at Lord Miller on this special film,” he said in a Tuesday statement. “Brian has such a singular voice and ‘Crumble’ perfectly embodies the bold, emotional and inventive storytelling that we champion at Laika. Lord Miller is in a class of its own and we could not ask for a better creative team to bring this story to life.”

Aditya Sood will produce for Lord Miller alongside Duffield. Lucy Kitada and Nikki Baida from Lord Miller will serve as executive producers.

Duffield got his start as the writer of the buzzy “Jane Got a Gun,” which made the Black List in 2011 (it was eventually released in 2015, following a notoriously fraught production that saw original director Lynne Ramsay, star Jude Law and cinematographer Darius Khondji leave shortly before filming was set to commence). Since then, he has written “The Babysitter,” “Underwater” and “Love and Monsters,” written and directed “Spontaneous” and “No One Will Save You” and produced “Cocaine Bear” with Lord and Miller.

He is set to cowrite, produce and direct an adaptation of “Whalefall” for 20th Century Studios and Imagine Entertainment, based on the novel by Daniel Kraus.

“I’ll never forget seeing ‘Coraline’ on opening night at the AMC Burbank 16 and wondering who these wonderful new geniuses were,” Duffield said of working with Laika. “I can’t wait to make a movie with them and hopefully live up to their banner, and I couldn’t be more excited to get to go on a new adventure with my friends at Lord Miller.”

“We’re so excited to keep collaborating with our friend Brian Duffield who has written a script that is endlessly imaginative, funny and romantic,” Miller and Lord added. “We have long been fans of Laika and Travis Knight’s groundbreaking work in animation and could not be more excited to join forces with them in live-action.”

Laika is the Oscar-nominated stop-motion animation studio behind “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.” It is owned by Nike cofounder Phil Knight, with his son Travis Knight serving as Laika’s president, CEO and even a director. The studio is currently working on the stop-motion feature “Wildwood,” directed by Knight, plus “The Night Gardener” and “Piranesi” on the way very soon.

The studio has made inroads in live-action production, with its first live-action feature meant to be “Seventeen,” based on a novel by John Brownlow. There is no writer or director yet attached, though Laika noted in its new statement that “Crumble” will be “bolstering its live-action slate.”

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