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Travis Knight to Direct Adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi

LAIKA has acquired the international best-selling fantasy novel Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. LAIKA’s President and CEO, Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Bumblebee), will direct the animated feature film.

A New York Times and Sunday Times best-seller with over four million copies sold, Piranesi was awarded the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Travis Knight to Direct Adaptation of Susanna Clarke's Piranesi
Image Courtesy of Bloomsbury

“Piranesi is a treasure and very dear to me,” said Knight. “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.”

“Animation is one of my favourite things,” said Clarke. “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.”

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Piranesi is an intoxicating, hypnotic novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, and 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, and rooms are flooded in an instant.

But Piranesi is not afraid. He understands the tides as well as 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.

Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham. She spent her childhood nomadic in towns in Northern England and Scotland. She was educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and has worked in various areas of nonfiction publishing, including Gordon Fraser and Quarto.

In 1990, she left London and went to Turin to teach English to stressed-out Fiat motor company executives. The following year, she taught English in Bilbao. She returned to England in 1992 and spent the rest of that year in County Durham, in a house that looked out over the North Sea.

There, she began working on her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which Neil Gaiman (Coraline, American Gods) called “Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years.”

From 1993 to 2003, Susanna Clarke was an editor at Simon and Schuster’s Cambridge office, where she worked on their cookery list. She has published seven short stories and novellas in US anthologies.

One, The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse, first appeared in a limited-edition illustrated chapbook from Green Man Press. Another, Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower, was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award in 2001. Piranesi (Bloomsbury; 2020)), a New York Times best-seller with over four million copies sold, was the winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

LAIKA was founded in 2005 in Oregon by President and CEO Travis Knight. The studio’s five films, Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), and Missing Link (2019), have all been nominated for the Academy Award for Outstanding Animated Feature.

Kubo and the Two Strings won the BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film and received an additional Oscar nomination for Visual Effects. Missing Link was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar in 2016 for its innovation in 3D printing.

LAIKA is currently in production for its next animated film, Wildwood, based on Colin Meloy’s fantasy novels. The studio is developing The Night Gardener, an animated film based on an original idea by Bill Dubuque, creator of the hit series Ozark.

LAIKA has also launched a Live Action subsidiary with a range of development projects, including a feature film based on the action thriller novel Seventeen by screenwriter John Brownlow.

Image Courtesy of Bloomsbury