Stop-motion animation studio LAIKA has practically been spewing new information at Cannes this week, and we’re hyped.
Firstly, the studio revealed its fifth film will be titled Missing Link.
“Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder,” said LAIKA president CEO Travis Knight in a statement. “Led by our visionary director Chris Butler, LAIKA has once again blended fine art, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology to achieve something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging. Commingling keenly felt emotion, madcap humour, and retina-bursting visuals, Missing Link is a kaleidoscopic cinematic experience unlike any other. It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”
Secondly, Missing Link announced its full voice cast. Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana and Zach Galifianakis were all already confirmed, but they will now be joined by Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson, with Timothy Olyphant, Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Ching Valdez-Aran and Amrita Acharia in supporting roles.
To get a better sense of the film, here’s a full character breakdown:
The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling 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 slightly silly, surprisingly smart and soulful beast upon whom Sir Lionel’s dreams depend. As species go, he’s as endangered as they get; he’s the last of his kind, and he’s lonely. Proposing a daring quest to seek out his rumored distant relatives, he enlists Sir Lionel’s help in an odyssey around the world to find the fabled valley of Shangri-La.
Together with Adelina Fortnight (voiced by Zoe Saldana), an independent and resourceful adventurer who possesses the only known map to the group’s secret destination, the unlikely trio embarks on a riotous rollercoaster of a ride. Along the way, our fearless explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril, stalked at every turn by dastardly villains seeking to thwart their mission. Through it all, Mr. Link’s disarming charm and good-humored conviction provide the emotional and comedic foundation of this fun-filled family film.
“It was a constant source of delight to witness how our game and captivating cast imbued these larger-than-life characters with distinct personality,” said director Chris Butler. “Hugh lends Sir Lionel a giddy schoolboy enthusiasm bubbling beneath the surface of his suave English gent; Zoe brings an unflappable ardor and a witty playfulness to Adelina, and Zach’s performance as Link is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but a beautifully nuanced balance of innocence and vulnerability. It was a treat to be able to join this eclectic gang of adventurers on their journey across the world.”
Missing Link is in cinemas in spring 2018. Get all the latest fantasy news with every issue of SciFiNow.