Laika Recruits Pete Candeland, Victor Maldonado, Alfredo Torres to Develop New Animated Features

No details have been announced for the directors’ respective features

LAIKA Victor and Alfredo

Laika, the groundbreaking Portland, Oregon-based animation studio, has brought in new filmmakers in the form of director Pete Candeland and Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres, the duo known as Headless, TheWrap has confirmed.

Candeland and Headless will be developing new animated features, although details on those features have yet to be revealed.  

Maldonado and Torres won an Annie for an episode of the Guillermo del Toro DreamWorks Animation series “Trollhunters” and have also directed three episodes of Netflix’s adult animated series “Love, Death & Robots.” Maldonado also directed and co-wrote “Nocturna,” a 2007 animated feature. Torres also worked on “Nocturna” as production designer, which won the Best Animated Feature at the Goya Awards. They also worked on the animated sequences from J.A. Bayona’s “A Monster Calls” and were in development at Skydance Animation, which recently moved its feature output from Apple TV+ to Netflix.

Candeland is best known for directing music videos for Gorillaz, the animated pop band conceived by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, and inventive commercials and trailers.

Laika is known for their inventive, darkly tinged animated marvels, beginning with “Coraline” and continuing with films like “ParaNorman,” “Kubo and the Two Strings” and “The Boxtrolls.” Their last feature was 2019’s “Missing Link,” starring Hugh Jackman and Zach Galifianakis. They are working on several projects currently, including a new animated feature called “Wildwood” directed by Travis Knight, Laika’s president and CEO. “Wildwood” is based on the novel of the same name by The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy. They are also working on adult animated feature “The Night Gardener,” based on an original idea from “Ozark” creator Bill Dubuque and an adaptation of the novel “Seventeen” by screenwriter John Brownlow. “Seventeen” will be the studio’s first live-action feature, marking an exciting new era for the studio.

Deadline first reported the news.


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