LAIKA Entertainment has signed Golden Globe Award-winning actor Ian McShane to join the cast of its first animated feature film, Coraline. Focus Features has worldwide distribution rights to Coraline, which stars Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, and the British comedy duo of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. LAIKA, Inc. president/CEO Dale Wahl and Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement.
The stop-motion animated feature with CG effects has been adapted by LAIKA supervising director Henry Selick from Neil Gaiman's international best-selling book Coraline. Mr. Selick is directing Coraline, and LAIKA Entertainment's director of story Mike Cachuela is co-director of the feature.
Coraline is the story of a young girl (voiced by Ms. Fanning) who unlocks a mysterious door in her new home, and enters into an adventure in a parallel reality. On the surface, this other world eerily mimics her own life - though much more fantastical. In it, Coraline encounters such off-kilter inhabitants as the morbidly funny Miss Forcible and Miss Spink (Ms. French and Ms. Saunders, respectively), and a counterfeit mother (Ms. Hatcher) - who attempts to keep her. Ultimately, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home.
Mr. McShane will voice the role of Mr. Bobinsky, an irascible, beet-eating Russian giant who lives upstairs from Coraline's "home" in the parallel reality.
Messrs. Wahl and Schamus said, "We're great admirers of Ian's work; as one of the world's most versatile actors, he's an ideal addition to our wonderful cast for Coraline."
Mr. Selick added, "All the characters who inhabit Coraline's shadowy other world are surprising and unpredictable; Mr. Bobinsky has an edge to him that is both comic and villainous, and Ian is the perfect actor to bring him to roaring life."
Mr. McShane stars alongside Woody Allen, Hugh Jackman, and Scarlett Johansson in Mr. Allen's comedy Scoop, which Focus releases this week; and can currently be seen in the third season of the television series Deadwood. His potent portrayal of Al Swearengen on the program has earned him a Golden Globe Award and a Television Critics Association Award, as well as Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. He will soon be seen in McG's We Are Marshall, with Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox.