The streaming service will release a feature animation adaptation of ND Stevenson’s bestselling comic novel in 2023, with production beginning earlier in the year end. The film, directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Spies in Disguise), stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed, and is produced by Netflix and Annapurna Pictures.
“A Knight gets framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and the only people who can help him establish his innocence is Nimona, a shape-shifting youngster who might be a creature he’s sworn to kill,” according to the animation’s synopsis. This is a story about the labels we assign to people and the shapeshifter who refuses to be defined by anyone.” “Set in a techno-medieval world unlike anything animation has tackled before, this is a story about the labels we assign to people and the shapeshifter who refuses to be defined by anyone.”
Ballister Boldheart will be played by Ahmed, and Ambrosius Goldenloin will be played by Eugene Lee Yang. The animation was created by DNEG Animation. Robert L. Baird, Megan Ellison, and Andrew Millstein exec produce alongside Roy Lee, Karen Ryan, and Julie Zackary. Nimona’s road to the big screen has been bumpy, with mid-production setbacks.
Blue Sky Studios, a division of then-20th Century Fox’s animation company, was in charge of producing the project at the time. When Disney acquired Fox, production had already begun, and it was announced in February 2021 that Blue Sky would be shuttered, joining Pixar and Walt Disney Animation. Patrick Osborne was set to helm the Blue Sky-based Nimona adaption, which was set to premiere on January 14, 2022, when the animation studio closed. Nimona’s development was suspended shortly after, and the movie was never released.
Former Blue Sky employees were reported in a March 2022 Business Insider story as saying that Disney management objected to Nimona getting a same-gender kiss. During the creative development process for the next Pixar film Lightyear, a same-gender kiss was reportedly alleged to have been eliminated. After internal outcry at The Walt Disney Company, including a letter from Pixar employees alleging censorship and pointing to Disney’s earlier public quiet on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, it was reinstated.
After starting off as a webcomic, Nimona was picked up by HarperCollins in 2015. The film went on to win a number of prizes, including an Eisner Award.