Focus Features has made a new distribution deal for the next two films by LAIKA, reuniting the companies responsible for Coraline, Focus’ second-highest-grossing movie. The first film is ParaNorman, and it will be released Aug. 17, 2012. The second project will be ready for distribution in 2014. Focus will hold worldwide distribution rights and Universal Pictures International will handle overseas. Sam Fell and Chris Butler are directing ParaNorman from Butler’s script.
Fell directed The Tale of Despereaux and Flushed Away, and Butler was storyboard supervisor on Coraline and storyboard artist on Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Elaine Stritch provide voices. ParaNorman is a comic thriller about a small town that comes under siege by zombies and calls on a local boy who can speak with the dead and becomes their ghoul whisperer.