Travis Knight to Direct Laika Adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s ‘Piranesi’

Portland, Oregon-based stop-motion animation studio Laika has acquired the best-selling fantasy novel “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke, with Laika’s President and CEO Travis Knight on board to direct the animated feature. Knight previously directed “Kubo and the Two Strings” for the studio. He is current in production on Laika’s “Wildwood,” based on the book by Colin Meloy.

The official synopsis for “Piranesi,” which was a New York Times bestseller with over four million copies sold, reads: “Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.”

“There is one other person in the house―a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.”

“Piranesi is a treasure, and very dear to me,” said Knight in an official statement.  “As a filmmaker, I can scarcely imagine a more joyful experience than wandering through the worlds Susanna dreamed into being.  She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and with Piranesi, Susanna has created a beautiful, devastating and ultimately life-affirming work of art.  I’m humbled that she chose Laika as her home.”

Clarke added: ““Animation is one of my favorite things. I’ve been inspired by so many animated movies; and Laika has produced such extraordinary work — movies like ‘Coraline’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ full of beauty and wonder and weirdness. I’m thrilled that ‘Piranesi’ has found a home with them and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

Laika’s last feature was 2019’s “Missing Link,” directed by Chris Butler. Knight is also attached to direct the studio’s first adult animated feature “The Night Gardener,” from “Ozark” creator Bill Dubuque. Knight is also attached to direct a live-action “Masters of the Universe” movie for Amazon MGM Studios.

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