Travis Knight to Direct LAIKA’s Animated Film Version of Susanna Clarke’s NYT Bestseller Piranesi

Piranesi flooded me, as the tides flood the halls, with a scouring grief, leaving gleaming gifts in its wake… rich, wondrous, full of aching joy and sweet sorrow. ” – The New York Times Book Review

HILLSBORO, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#httpstwittercomLAIKAStudios–LAIKA has acquired the international best-selling fantasy novel Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. LAIKA’s President & CEO Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, Bumblebee) will direct the animated feature film. A New York Times and Sunday Times best-seller with over four million copies sold, Piranesi was awarded the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Piranesi is a treasure, and very dear to me,” said Knight. “As a filmmaker, I can scarcely imagine a more joyful experience than wandering through the worlds Susanna dreamed into being. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and with Piranesi, Susanna has created a beautiful, devastating and ultimately life-affirming work of art. I’m humbled that she chose LAIKA as her home.”

“Animation is one of my favourite things,” said Clarke. “I’ve been inspired by so many animated movies; and LAIKA has produced such extraordinary work — movies like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, full of beauty and wonder and weirdness. I’m thrilled that Piranesi has found a home with them and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Piranesi is an intoxicating, hypnotic novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.

Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house―a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

Praise for Piranesi

“Clarke’s imagination is prodigious; her pacing is masterly, and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.” ― The New York Times

“Enthralling [and] transcendent… Clarke’s writing is clear, sharp ― she can cleave your heart in a few short words” ―

“Nobody writes about magic the way Clarke does… She writes about magic as if she’s actually worked it.” ― TIME Magazine

“Clarke wraps a twisty mystery inside a metaphysical fantasy in her extraordinary new novel… Sure to be recognized as one of the year’s most inventive.” ― Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“…to abide in these pages is to find oneself happily detained in awe.” ―The Washington Post

Piranesi hit my mind and soul like a thunderbolt. It is a work of deep power.” ―

Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham. A nomadic childhood was spent in towns in Northern England and Scotland. She was educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and has worked in various areas of non-fiction publishing, including Gordon Fraser and Quarto. In 1990, she left London and went to Turin to teach English to stressed-out executives of the Fiat motor company. The following year she taught English in Bilbao. She returned to England in 1992 and spent the rest of that year in County Durham, in a house that looked out over the North Sea. There she began working on her first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, called by Neil Gaiman (Coraline; American Gods) “Unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years.”

From 1993 to 2003, Susanna Clarke was an editor at Simon and Schuster’s Cambridge office, where she worked on their cookery list. She has published seven short stories and novellas in US anthologies. One, The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse, first appeared in a limited-edition, illustrated chapbook from Green Man Press. Another, Mr. Simonelli or The Fairy Widower, was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award in 2001. Piranesi (Bloomsbury; 2020)), a New York Times best-seller with over four million copies sold, was the winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Susanna Clarke is represented by Nick Marston and Katie Battcock at Curtis Brown.


Susanna Clarke image (attached): Photo courtesy of Sarah Lee

Book cover: Courtesy of Bloomsbury

Travis Knight: Photo by Austin Hargrave


LAIKA was founded in 2005 in Oregon by President & CEO Travis Knight. The studio’s five films Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012), The Boxtrolls (2014), Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) and Missing Link (2019) have all been nominated for the Academy Award® for Outstanding Animated Feature. Kubo and the Two Strings won the BAFTA® Award for Best Animated Film and received an additional Oscar® nomination for Visual Effects. Missing Link was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film. LAIKA was awarded a Scientific and Technology Oscar® in 2016 for its innovation in 3D printing. LAIKA is currently in production on its next animated film Wildwood, based on the fantasy novels by Colin Meloy. The studio is developing The Night Gardener, an animated film from an original idea by Bill Dubuque, creator of the hit series Ozark. LAIKA has launched a Live Action subsidiary with a range of projects in development including a feature film based on the action thriller novel Seventeen by screenwriter John Brownlow.



Maggie Begley/MBC; 310.749.3055

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