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Laika, the Portland-based animation studio behind movies such as Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, is expanding its live-action moviemaking plans with the hiring of Matt Levin in the newly-created position of president, live-action film and series.
Levin served as director of original independent film at Netflix from 2014 to 2022. During that time, he oversaw development and production of 25 films including the upcoming Gareth Evans’ actioner Havoc starring Tom Hardy, Forest Whitaker and Timothy Olyphant; Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things starring Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley and Toni Collette; and the 2017 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore from writer/director Macon Blair. Levin brought in overall deals with Gareth Evans and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
At Laika, Levin will report to president and CEO Travis Knight. “[Levin’s] exceptional leadership skills, creative sensitivity, and sharp storytelling mind will guide our studio to the next phase of its evolution, and into exciting new genres, media, and formats,” said Knight in a released statement. “At 17 years old, Laika is grunting our way through the disaffected teenager stage of our development. Matt’s gonna help us become a proper grown-up.”
Laika is currently in production on sixth animated movie, Wildwood, directed by Knight; and is developing its first live-action project, an adaptation of John Brownlow’s novel Seventeen.
Said Levin, “I’ve loved and admired Laika’s bold, original, and ground-breaking animated films since the studio came on the scene. I’m excited to honor and build on that legacy as we forge ahead into live-action films and series in this promising new chapter.”
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