Laika will film Wildwood

Variety reports: Laika is looking to its own backyard for its most ambitious project yet. The Portland, Ore.-based animation studio behind "Coraline" has optioned Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I a young-adult fantasy novel set in an alternate version of the Oregon capital, written by the Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy and illustrated by his wife, Carson Ellis.

"Wildwood," published last week by HarperCollins' Balzer and Bray imprint, marks the first book in a proposed trilogy centering around Prue McKneel, 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.

Those of us in Portland have a) probably had the pleasure of hearing The Decemberists and b) know that Wildwood is an alernate reality version of Forest Park (where Teen was pulling ivy today as a community service project).

Read more details about the film deal here.

And you can read more about the book and watch a few videos of Colin and Carson here.

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I read that earlier today and thought, "wow, it must be nice to have connections." That's no commentary on the quality of the book, mind you, which I haven't read, just some insight into how rare and difficult it is to get a book made into a movie, and especially by a group as amazing as Laika. I really wish them all well. But I'm still envious. :)
I don't know if it's connections so much as high-profile. And local probably doesn't hurt on either end. You could probably walk from the studio to their house in 10 minutes.
Is it young adult? I got the impression that it was middle grade. But then, nobody outside the book business even knows what those terms mean (or so it seems!).
I believe you are correct that it is middle-grade. Although I'm sure a lot of folks would like to blur boundaries if it led to more sales.