Nimona (film)

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Nimona
Directed by
Screenplay byMarc Haimes
Based onNimona
by ND Stevenson
Produced by
  • Karen Ryan[1]
  • Julie Zackary
Starring
Production
companies
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • 2023 (2023)
Country
  • United States
LanguageEnglish

Nimona is an upcoming American computer-animated science fantasy adventure comedy film based on the comic series of the same name by ND Stevenson. The film is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane and written by Marc Haimes. It features the voices of Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, and Eugene Lee Yang.

Originally a production of Blue Sky Studios, a former subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, it was originally set to be directed by Patrick Osborne, with an initial release date of 2020. Following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the production received pushback from Disney's new leadership due to the film's LGBTQ themes, after which it was delayed multiple times before being canceled due to Blue Sky's closure in April 2021.[3]

On April 11, 2022, it was announced that Annapurna Pictures had revived the project, with DNEG Animation taking over production, and re-set the film for a 2023 release on Netflix.[4]

Premise[edit]

Nimona, a teenager with the power to shapeshift, is targeted by a knight for assassination. The knight's mission to kill Nimona becomes complicated when he is accused of a crime, and learns that Nimona may be able to exonerate him.[5]

Voice cast[edit]

  • Chloë Grace Moretz[6] as Nimona, a shapeshifter who insists on being the sidekick to Ballister Blackheart.
  • Riz Ahmed[6] as Ballister Blackheart, a former knight for the Institution who was kicked out when he lost an arm in a joust with Ambrosius Goldenloin.
  • Eugene Lee Yang[6] as Ambrosius Goldenloin, the champion knight of the Institution.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In June 2015, 20th Century Fox Animation acquired the rights for an animated feature film adaptation of Nimona, a webcomic by ND Stevenson. Patrick Osborne was set to direct, from a screenplay by Marc Haimes.[7][8]

The film was to be produced by Fox's former subsidiary, Blue Sky Studios, alongside Vertigo Entertainment.[9] In June 2017, 20th Century Fox scheduled Nimona to be released on February 14, 2020.[10][11]

Acquisition by Disney and delays[edit]

In March 2019, Disney completed its acquisition of Fox, then in May 2019, the film was delayed to March 5, 2021.[12] In November 2019, the film was delayed again to January 14, 2022.[13][14][15][16][17] Through 2020 there was word that the film would be released in 2022,[18][19][20][21] Stevenson stated in June 2020 that the film was still happening,[22] and said the same in an August 2020 podcast.[23] In August of that same year, Den of Geek reported that the animated film was still scheduled to be released in 2022, but gave no further details, with Deadline reporting the same in October.[24][25]

Cancellation and aftermath[edit]

On February 9, 2021, Disney announced it was shutting down Blue Sky Studios, and that production of the film was canceled.[26]

Following the announcement, Stevenson said it was a "sad day" and that he wished the best for everyone who worked at Blue Sky Studios,[27] while Osborne said he was "truly heartbroken" that the studio was closing its doors.[28] Webcomics commenter Gary Tyrrell criticized the decision, saying, "[Disney] could have allowed a very different kind of young heroine... I mourn for those who would have found a vision of themselves in an animated version".[29] Anonymous staffers at Blue Sky interviewed by Business Insider bemoaned the cancellation of the film, calling it "heartbreaking," arguing that the film "didn't look like anything else in the animated world," and saying that they believe it will never "be completed and released."[30] The film was set to be the first use of Blue Sky's Conduit, a system that allowed artists to "find, track, version and quality control their work."[31] Had it been made, it would have been Blue Sky's first film with LGBT representation, as a few staffers confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the film had an "I love you" scene between Ballister Blackheart and Ambrosius Goldenloin.[32]

Sources told CBR that the film was "75% complete".[33] One staffer stated that before being canceled, the film was "on track" to being finished by October 2021. A former animator at Blue Sky, Rick Fournier, stated that the studio was "very very close" to getting the film finished, but that they "found out it simply was not doable."[34]

In March 2021, it was reported that Chloë Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed were to have voiced Nimona and Ballister Blackheart, respectively,[35] and that the film was being shopped around to other studios to be completed.[35] In June 2021, Mey Rude, a writer for Out, said she still held out "hope that this film … will find its way back to life somehow."[36]

In March 2022, amid the controversy of Disney's involvement in Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill and lack of criticism from CEO Bob Chapek until after the bill had passed, three former Blue Sky staff members stated the film received pushback from Disney leadership, centered around the film's LGBT themes and a same-sex kiss.[37]

Revival[edit]

On April 11, 2022, it was announced that Annapurna Pictures had picked up Nimona earlier in the year, and would be releasing it on Netflix in 2023.[38][6] The voice cast was also retained, with the addition of Eugene Lee Yang as Ambrosius Goldenloin announced at this point.[4][39][40] Nick Bruno and Troy Quane were announced as the new directors of the film, having previously directed Blue Sky's last film Spies in Disguise (2019). Quane started working on the film in March 2020.[41] Bruno and Quane were heavily involved in the film, acting as directors, according to a Blue Sky staffer.[42] DNEG Animation was announced to have taken over animation of the film concurrent with the Netflix/Annapurna acquisition.[4] Much of what Blue Sky did remains intact, as Netflix and Annapurna did not start from scratch.[42] Additionally, Goldenloin was changed to be Asian.[43] Animation wrapped on October 1, 2022.[44]

Release[edit]

Nimona is set to be released on Netflix in the summer of 2023.[45] It will be the first release from Annapurna Animation.[2] It has been rated PG for "violence and action, some language and rude humor".[46]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nimona". dneg.com. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Vlessing, Etan (December 1, 2022). "Annapurna Launches Animation Division Ahead of 'Nimona' Release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  3. ^ Clark, Travis. "Disney raised concerns about a same-sex kiss in the unreleased animated movie 'Nimona,' former Blue Sky staffers say". Business Insider. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Galuppo, Mia (April 11, 2022). "'Nimona' Animated Movie Lands at Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022.
  5. ^ Codega, Linda (December 1, 2022). "Nimona To Be Released by Newly Established Annapurna Animation". Gizmodo. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d Lang, Jamie (April 11, 2022). "'Nimona' Gets New Release Date As Netflix Acquires The Long-Awaited Sci-Fi Epic". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (June 11, 2015). "Fox Animation Nabs 'Nimona' Adaptation With 'Feast' Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  8. ^ Haasch, Palmer (August 22, 2018). "Paramount Pictures is making a Monument Valley film". Polygon. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  9. ^ Riley, Jennel (February 9, 2017). "Oscar Winner Patrick Osborne Returns With First-Ever VR Nominee 'Pearl'". Variety. Archived from the original on December 1, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2022. I'm working with Blue Sky Animation and Fox on "Nimona,...
  10. ^ Freedman, Molly (June 30, 2017). "Nimona Animated Movie Gets a 2020 Release Date". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  11. ^ Couch, Aaron (June 30, 2017). "Fox Carves Out Dates for 6 Mystery Marvel Movies". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Lang, Brent; Rubin, Rebecca (May 7, 2019). "Disney Announces New 'Star Wars' Films, Moves 'Avatar' Sequels". Variety. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  13. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 11, 2019). "Ridley Scott's 'The Last Duel' Gets the Greenlight as Disney Dates Multiple Titles". Variety. Archived from the original on February 14, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Soteriou, Stephanie (October 8, 2017). "Will Smith and Tom Holland to lend their voices to new Fox animation". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  15. ^ Amidi, Amid (November 17, 2019). "Disney Pulls 'Bob's Burgers' Feature Off Release Schedule, Delays 'Nimona' And 'Ron's Gone Wrong' (UPDATED)". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on May 23, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  16. ^ Libbey, Dirk (2016). "Upcoming Disney Animated Movies: List Of Titles And Release Dates". Cinema Bland. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  17. ^ Davis, Lauren (December 22, 2012). "The Best New and Short Webcomics of 2012". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  18. ^ Acuna, Kirsten (June 13, 2020). "Disney has over 60 movies coming to theaters through 2027 — here they are". Insider. Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  19. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (July 23, 2020). "Disney Takes 'Mulan' Off Release Calendar, Pushes 'Avatar' & 'Star Wars' Titles Back One Year". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  20. ^ Schaefer, Sandy (May 5, 2020). "Every Movie Releasing In 2022". ScreenRant. Archived from the original on May 16, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  21. ^ Perry, Spencer (November 5, 2020). "Disney's Updated Movie Release Calendar for 2021 and Beyond". ComicBook. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  22. ^ Ostertag, Molly; Stevenson, ND (June 9, 2020). "We're doing a charity stream for BLM on 6/9 at 5pm PST - send donations and requests here!". Twitch (service). Amazon. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022. From 3:15:57 to 3:16:46 in the video, ND says, "I can't say much about it, but I can tell you, its still happening, its exciting, and its gonna blow your mind, um yeah, hang in there, its coming. Its really cool. There was a lot of unrest in Fox getting merged with Disney for a while. Its so cool that...I remember when Disney released their slate for that year and it was like Untitled Star Wars project, Untitled Disney like animated film, Untitled Pixar film, and then there's like Nimona in the middle of it. It was so cool. So, yeah, its still happening and you're gonna love it."
  23. ^ Wecht, Brian; Gray, Leighton; Stevenson, ND (August 14, 2020). "Episode 26: The Pudding Cup of My Brain (feat. Noelle Stevenson)". YouTube channel for Leighton Night with Brian Wecht podcast. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022. See 52:19-55:36 in this video for her words about the movie.
  24. ^ Baxter, Joseph (August 31, 2020). "Scream 5 Release Date Set for January 2022". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on September 12, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 6, 2020). "'Lumberjanes' Animated TV Series Based On Boom! Comics From Noelle Stevenson Eyed By HBO Max". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 4, 2021). "Disney Closing Blue Sky Studios, Fox's Once-Dominant Animation House Behind 'Ice Age' Franchise". Deadline. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  27. ^ Stevenson, ND (February 10, 2021). "Sad day. Thanks for the well wishes, and sending so much love to everyone at Blue Sky. Forever grateful for all the care and joy you poured into Nimona [Red heart]". Twitter. Archived from the original on February 10, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  28. ^ Osborne, Patrick (February 10, 2021). "Truly heartbroken for Blue Sky - There is an incredible amount of talent in the studio. They were working on some wonderful things". Twitter. Archived from the original on February 10, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  29. ^ Tyrrell, Gary (February 10, 2021). "We All Knew It Was Coming". Fleen. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  30. ^ Clark, Travis (February 18, 2021). "Staffers at the animation studio Blue Sky say it's 'heartbreaking' that Disney canceled its final movie, 'Nimona'". Yahoo! News. Business Insider. Archived from the original on February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  31. ^ Staeubli, Oliver; Hoff, Tim; Bland, Ryan; Hallac, Rebecca; Smeltzer, Josh; Rydalch, Chris; Buczek, Karyn; McGuire, Mark (July 2019). Conduit: a modern pipeline for the open source world. SIGGRAPH '19: ACM SIGGRAPH 2019 Talks (Technical report). Association for Computing Machinery. 47. Archived from the original on October 14, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2022. Alt URL Archived June 30, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Strapagiel, Lauren (February 24, 2021). "Disney's First Feature Animated Movie With Queer Leads May Never Be Released". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on February 25, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  33. ^ Laman, Douglas (February 10, 2021). "Disney's Blue Sky Shut Down Leaves Nimona Film 75% Completed". CBR. Retrieved February 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ Fournier, Rick [@Project813] (March 20, 2021). "Yes I have. Believe me when I say the people in charge tried and were very very close to saving the film. Yesterday we found out it simply wasn't doable. I know all of us Blue Sky'ers appreciate the support. 💙" (Tweet). Archived from the original on March 20, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ a b Snieder, Jeff (March 4, 2021). "Exclusive: Disney's LGBTQ-Themed 'Nimona' Would've Featured the Voices of Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed". Collider. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021.
  36. ^ "9 New, Upcoming Queer Animated Films & Shorts We're Dying to See". Out. July 1, 2021. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  37. ^ Clark, Travis. "Disney raised concerns about a same-sex kiss in the unreleased animated movie 'Nimona,' former Blue Sky staffers say". Business Insider. Archived from the original on March 17, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  38. ^ "'Nimona' Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed & Eugene Lee Yang Coming to Netflix In 2023". Netflix Media Center (Press release). April 11, 2022.
  39. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 11, 2022). "'Nimona': Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed & Eugene Lee Yang To Topline Animated Pic From Netflix And Annapurna". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  40. ^ Romano, Nick (April 11, 2022). "Netflix saves Nimona after Disney scrapped LGBTQ-friendly animated film". EW. Archived from the original on April 11, 2022.
  41. ^ Quane, Troy [@quanetroy] (April 11, 2022). "Been directing this since March 2020!! So thrilled to finally share the news. Global pandemics and studio closures cant stop NIMONA!!!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 11, 2022 – via Twitter.
  42. ^ a b Clark, Travis (April 14, 2022). "How 'Nimona' went from Disney's cutting room floor to Netflix's next big animated feature". Business Insider. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  43. ^ Codega, Linda (April 11, 2022). "A Look Inside Nimona's Long Road to Release". Gizmodo. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  44. ^ @cristinbmckee (October 1, 2022). "That's a wrap on Nimona! I finished my last shot last week. It's been a wild 4+ years of excitement, loss, hope, and absolute pride and joy. I can't wait till y'all see it. Nimona and Bal have some important things to tell the world" (Tweet). Retrieved October 3, 2022 – via Twitter.
  45. ^ Asatryan, Tigran (January 4, 2023). "'Nimona' Netflix Animation Movie: Everything We Know So Far". What's on Netflix. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  46. ^ "CARA/MPA Film Ratings BULLETIN For 01/11/23; MPA Ratings & Rating Reasons For 'Creed III', 'Beau Is Afraid', 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' & More | Screen-Connections". screen-connections.com. January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 21, 2023.

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