ParaNorman, the next 3D stop-motion animated feature from Laika and Focus Features, has added composer Jon Brion to its ranks, as well as cast members Tucker Albrizzi, Alex Borstein and Jodelle Ferland.
The studio’s follow-up to the 2009 hit Coraline is in production at Laika’s Oregon facility.
ParaNorman is directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler from an original screenplay by Butler. Both have extensive animation experience: Fell as director of the animated features The Tale of Desperaux and Flushed Away; Butler as storyboard supervisor on Coraline and storyboard artist on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
Brion has earned Grammy Award nominations for his scores to the films Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Magnolia. He also has worked with such recording artists as Kanye West, Beck, Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, the Eels and Dido.
“I’ve been waiting for the right animation project for some time now,” said Brion. “This production and the people at Laikia and Focus have an inspiring amount of heart. One can’t help being swept up in the passion.”
In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Also on board the cast for the film are Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Elaine Stritch.
Arianne Sutner, animation producer on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Travis Knight are producing ParaNorman. Academy Award winner Brian Van’t Hul (King Kong, Coraline) is the movie’s visual effects supervisor; Emmy Award winner Nelson Lowry (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride) is its production designer; and Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) is the director of photography on ParaNorman.