Travis Knight to Direct Movie Based on Susanna Clarke Book 5

Author Susanna Clarke’s best-selling fantasy novel Piranesi is getting the animated feature treatment.

Animation studio Laika has acquired the 2020 book, with the company’s CEO Travis Knight set to helm the project. The novel Piranesi, which won the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, centers on the titular narrator arriving in a parallel universe made up of endless rooms and hallways where newcomers slowly lose their identity.

Knight is directing Amazon MGM Studios’ live-action Masters of the Universe feature that hits theaters in 2026, with Nicholas Galitzine (The Idea of You) starring as He-Man. Knight’s other films as director include Bumblebee (2019) and the Oscar-nominated animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings (2016). His animated movie Wildwood — that hails from Laika and includes voice work from Carey Mulligan, Mahershala Ali and Awkwafina — is set to hit theaters next year.

Piranesi is a treasure and very dear to me,” Knight said in a statement. “As a filmmaker, I can scarcely imagine a more joyful experience than wandering through the worlds Susanna dreamed into being. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors, and with Piranesi, Susanna has created a beautiful, devastating and ultimately life-affirming work of art. I’m humbled that she chose Laika as her home.”

Piranesi marks Clarke’s second novel, which followed 2004’s best-selling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. That book was adapted into the 2015 BBC miniseries of the same name that starred Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan.

“Animation is one of my favorite things,” Clarke said. “I’ve been inspired by so many animated movies; and LAIKA has produced such extraordinary work — movies like Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, full of beauty and wonder and weirdness. I’m thrilled that Piranesi has found a home with them and I can’t wait to see what they do.”

Clarke is repped by Nick Marston and Katie Battcock at Curtis Brown.

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