Laika, the animation studio behind “The Boxtrolls” and “ParaNorman” is expanding into live action. As part of its expansion, the studio has optioned screenwriter John Brownlow’s debut novel “Seventeen” with plans to adapt the action thriller, signaling a new direction.

Founded in 2005, Laika is best known for its stop-motion animation features. Last year the studio released “Missing Link” and is working on its sixth film.

Travis Knight, president and CEO said, “For the past 15 years, Laika has been committed to making movies that matter. Across mediums and genres, our studio has fused art, craft and technology in service of bold, distinctive and enduring stories. With ‘Seventeen,’ Laika is taking that philosophy in an exciting new direction.”

He added, “’Seventeen’ is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action and raw emotion. John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. ‘Seventeen’ is a thriller with soul, a sinuous adrenaline-fueled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”

The expansion comes as the studio sealed a distribution deal with Shout! Factory on four of their earlier titles: “Kubo and the Two Strings” (2016), “The Boxtrolls” (2014), “ParaNorman” (2012) and “Coraline” (2009).

Brownlow’s resume includes penning the script for the feature film “Sylvia” starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. He also wrote and executive produced the limited series “The Minaturist,” which starred Anya Taylor-Joy.

His debut novel will be published in the U.S. in 2022. Brownlow said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be developing ‘Seventeen’ for the screen with Laika. As a long-time fan of Laika’s movies for their vision, heart, craft, intelligence and ambition, I couldn’t have hoped for the novel or the universe it inhabits to have found a better or more exciting home. I’m beyond honored to be part of their plans for the future.”

Laika was represented in the deal by CAA. Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis LLP, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group and CAA.