We’ve got a trio of news items for you in this edition of our development roundup, starting with details on the latest from the studio that brought us Kubo and the Two Strings.
Last month, we reported in a previous casting news roundup that Hugh Jackman (Wolverine, Logan), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avengers: Infinity War) and Zach Galifianakis (The LEGO Batman Movie) were set to star in an unnamed “globetrotting comedy-adventure” from Laika, the animation studio behind The Boxtrolls and ParaNorman. (At the time, the movie was simply given the placeholder name of Film Five.) Well now, not only do we have a title, but we’ve also got a story.
In Laika’s fifth film, Missing Link, Jackman voices Sir Lionel Frost, who considers himself the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. There’s just one problem: none of his peers recognize this. So, Sir Lionel travels to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature: a living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry, The Missing Link.
Zach Galifianakis is Mr. Link, the beast whom Sir Lionel seeks. He’s the last of his kind, and obviously quite lonely. Once he and Sir Lionel cross paths, Mr. Link enlists Sir Lionel’s help to embark on a globe-trotting mission to seek out his rumored distant relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La.
Joining the team is Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Saldana), an adventurer who possesses the only map to the secret destination. Once together, the trio embarks on a daring mission, encountering more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by villains seeking to thwart their goals. Zany antics may or may not ensue.
Rounding out the voice cast is Emma Thompson (Sense and Sensibility), Stephen Fry (The Hobbit), Timothy Olyphant (Justified), Matt Lucas (Alice In Wonderland), David Walliams (Little Britain), Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones) and Ching Valdes-Aran (Nurse Jackie).
Missing Link is written and directed by Chris Butler (ParaNorman). Laika’s head of production Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman, Kubo and the Two Strings) is producing with Laika's president & CEO Travis Knight.
Missing Link is in production and will be released in the U.S. by Annapurna Pictures in Spring 2019.
Over at Hulu, the streaming service continues growing its marketshare of original programming by ordering 10 episodes of Light as a Feather, a new horror series from AwesomenessTV, Wattpad, and Kelsey Grammer’s Grammnet.
In the show, five teen girls play an innocent game of “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” that goes horribly, horribly wrong. How wrong? Well, after playing the game, the girls start dying. So, we’d say that's pretty bad. The survivors are forced to find out why they’re being targeted — and whether the evil force hunting them down is one of their own.
The show, based on the Wattpad story of the same name by Zoe Aarsen, is created and executive produced by Lee Fleming. Production will begin in June.
And finally, Emma Greenwell is set to star in The Rook, a new paranormal spy TV series executive produced by Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer and The Night Manager‘s Stephen Garrett, Deadline is reporting.
Adapted from the 2012 supernatural spy thriller of the same name by Daniel O'Malley, the story follows the adventures of Myfanwy Thomas (Greenwell) after she wakes up on a park bench in London with amnesia and learns she's an agent for a secret organization that fights off other-worldly threats.
Greenwell (The Path) leads the series that also stars Joely Richardson (Red Sparrow), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse) and Adrian Lester (Riviera). Rounding out the cast are Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Catherine Steadman (Downton Abbey) and Jon Fletcher (The Messengers).
Richardson will play Lady Farrier, Myfanwy’s mentor and ally. Munn, meanwhile, is Monica Reed, an American intelligence officer with supernatural powers. Lester will play Conrad Grantchester, the deputy to Farrier. Raftery, Steadman and Fletcher will play the Gestalt siblings.
Production for the series is underway in London, and it's set to air on Starz in the U.S., and across Liberty Global’s international platforms. Lionsgate is handling worldwide distribution. Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale, Power) will direct the pilot episode.