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‘Jack’ on track at Laika

Klubien to write, direct pic

Indie animation studio Laika Entertainment, which last week changed its name from Vinton Studios, has greenlit its second feature.

“Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure” is being written and helmed by Jorgen Klubien, a Pixar and Disney vet who joined Laika earlier this year with the aim of moving the long-gestating pic into production. He had previously pitched the project to numerous studios.

Pic is an adventure about a pair of brothers in the animal kingdom.

Portland-based Laika also recently greenlit “Coraline,” an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, to be directed by Henry Selick. That project is expected to be part CG and part stop motion, while “Jack and Ben” will be entirely computer animated. Company is aiming for a late 2007 release of “Coraline,” to be followed shortly thereafter by “Jack and Ben.”

Laika is still looking to line up a distribution partner for its pics. It’s financing its slate with funds from Nike founder Phil Knight, who acquired Vinton in 2003. Both films are budgeted between $50 million and $70 million.

Klubien previously worked in various capacities on pics including “Cars,” “The Lion King” and the Selick-helmed “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

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