Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Moments after setting a deal with Random House Studio for Longbourne, Focus Features has locked its third animated movie project with ParaNorman and Coraline partner LAIKA. This one is called The Boxtrolls, which is in production, and Focus will release it October 17th, 2014. Focus has worldwide distribution rights and Universal Pictures International will release the movie overseas (with eOne Distribution handling Canada).

The Boxtrollsis a 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid animated feature based on Alan Snow’s bestselling fantasy adventure novel Here Be Monsters. It’s directed by Anthony Stacchi (co-director of Open Season) and Graham Annable (story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), and produced by David Ichioka and Mr. Knight. The voice cast includes Oscar winner Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.

The Here Be Monsters deal was brokered by Hotchkiss And Associates.

The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class, and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheeses. At least, that’s the legend residents have always believed. In truth, the Boxtrolls are an underground cavern-dwelling community of quirky and lovable oddballs who wear recycled cardboard boxes the way turtles wear their shells. The Boxtrolls have raised an orphaned human boy, Eggs, since infancy as one of their dumpster-diving and mechanical junk-collecting own. When the Boxtrolls are targeted by villainous pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley), who is bent on eradicating them as his ticket to Cheesebridge society, the kindhearted band of tinkerers must turn to their adopted charge and adventurous rich girl Winnie (Fanning) to bridge two worlds amidst the winds of change — and cheese.

For all of Deadline's headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter.