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The stop-motion studio behind Coraline and producers of Into the Spider-Verse are... making a live-action film together?

At least it's a strong team so far!

A still from Coraline, showing the titular character wearing pyjamas crawling through a mysterious, slightly glowing, circular cave.
Image credit: Laika

Laika, the animation studio behind films like Coraline is teaming up with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for, uh, a live-action film.

Since its inception, Laika has done one thing, and one thing only: make stop-motion movies. It kicked things off with Coraline, a film that's developed a cult following over the years since its release, going on to make films like ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Missing Link, though it's not managed to find as much success since that first movie. Lord and Miller, on the other hand, have produced a few live-action projects over the years, the most notable being 21 Jump Street, but for a good number of years they've been focused on animated projects like the Spider-Verse films. So, tell me then, why are the animation studio and producing duo teaming up to make a live-action film?

As reported by Variety, Laika, Lord, and Miller are coming together to make Crumble, an original film penned by Brian Duffield (Skull Island) that follows a married couple that set off on a world-travelling adventure in order to find a cure for an ancient curse. Duffield is also attached as director, with Lord and Miller producing. "I’ll never forget seeing ‘Coraline’ on opening night at the AMC Burbank 16 and wondering who these wonderful new geniuses were," Duffield said in a statement. "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."

The film generally seems to be part of a push for Laika to move partially towards live-action projects, as it even has a president of live-action film and series, Matt Levin. In a statement, Levin said "We’re so excited to partner with Brian and the entire team at Lord Miller on this special film. 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."

Luckily this doesn't signal the end of stop-motion projects for Laika, as the studio is working on The Night Gardener, an original story described as a gritty neo-noir folktale.

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