Wildwood Cast And New Image Revealed For Laika's 'Most Ambitious Film' Yet

Animation as a medium might not be the biggest priority or receive the greatest amount of respect among most studios — especially in recent days — but Laika has done all in its power to fight back against the rising tide and produce several gems in its own right over the years. The studio responsible for brilliant stop-motion movies such as "Coraline" and "Kubo and the Two Strings" (and even the very solid "Missing Link" in 2019) is back and ready to unveil their next major production. Originally in the works for over a decade, "Wildwood" has remained in-development with Laika ever since author Colin Meloy and illustrator Carson Ellis' fantasy novel series of the same name, first published in 2011.

Last we heard, Laika CEO (and director of "Kubo" and "Bumblebee") Travis Knight was brought on board to helm the adaptation of "Wildwood" with a script penned by "Missing Link" writer Chris Butler. Now, we're finally getting a look at evocative imagery from the movie, as well as the exciting voice cast attached to the project. In an announcement (which was also posted on the studio's official Twitter account), Laika revealed that the star-studded ensemble cast will include the talents of Carey Mulligan, Mahershala Ali, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Angela Bassett, Charlie Day, Amandla Stenberg, Jemaine Clement, Maya Erskine, Tantoo Cardinal, Tom Waits, and Richard Grant.

In a PR statement that dubbed "Wildwood" the studio's "most ambitious film to date," Knight had this to say about the announcement:

"That is one helluva cast. Collaborating with these exceptional actors has been a humbling and inspiring experience. Their committed performances elevate 'Wildwood,' and are a remarkable gift for LAIKA's animators. I'm in awe of them all."

Wildwood first look

"Wildwood" is currently in production in Laika's Portland, Oregon studio location — which will serve as the basis of the film's setting, as well. The story was previously described as following "Prue McKeel, a young lady who must confront a world filled with magic and danger after her younger brother is kidnapped, forcing her to enter the Impassable Wilderness." At the time, Knight had this to say about the original story:

"It's a story in the grand tradition of Tolkien, as big as 'Lord of the Rings' with a wonderful contemporary quality as well. Nothing of its kind has been attempted in our medium. You have these epic scenes alongside very nuanced character moments, which are the two hardest things to do in stop-motion. It's exciting to imagine how this might all come together."

All these years later, the rest of the world is about to see the end result of all that potential. No release date has been announced just yet, but keep an eye on /Film for updates on this intriguing production.

Beyond Portland, Oregon's city limits lies Wildwood. You're not supposed to go there. You're not even supposed to know it exists. But Prue McKeel is about to enter this enchanted wonderland. Her baby brother Mac has been taken by a murder of crows into the forest's depths, and she — along with her hapless classmate Curtis — is going to get him back. Prue might think she's too old for fairytales, but she's just found herself at the center of one. One filled with strange talking animals, roguish bandits, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. Wildwood is a tale of love, loss, sacrifice and secrets, and of the magic you can find on your doorstep, if you're willing to look for it.