Coming off the success of its Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the studio announced that China’s Tencent has boarded Jackie Chan’s Wish Dragon, and also revealed three projects in development – a reimagining of The Boondocks, horror series Hungry Ghosts, based on the Dark Horse Graphic Novel by the late Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose, and comedy Superbago, a collabortion with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios – along with two new adult-skewing animated features from Genndy Tartakovsky.
The studio also announced a big international initiative spearheaded by Oscar-winning producer Aron Warner (Shrek, The Book of Life). With the initiative, Sony Animation will collaborate with storytellers from different countries around the world to develop and produce a wide variety of animated features for both local and global release.
Warner is currently producing the initiative’s first release, Wish Dragon, a tale about the power of friendship set in modern-day Shanghai. The film, directed by Chris Appelhans (Coraline) and set to release in China in 2020, is a co-production between Sony Pictures Animation, Beijing Sparkle Roll Media, Tencent and Base Media.
During the presentation, Sony Animation’s president, Kristine Belson, shared exclusive visuals from the studio’s next major theatrical releases, including The Angry Birds Movie 2 which releases later this year, in addition to 2020’s The Mitchells vs. The Machines, produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and Vivo, Sony Animation’s first-ever musical featuring original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda – which has added Zootopia director Rich Moore to the filmmaking team as a producer. The crowd also got a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, presented by head of production Pam Marsden.
Below are detailed looks at the three alternative shows in development, Hungry Ghosts, Superbago and The Boondocks, and Tartakovsky’s features Black Knight and Fixed.
“Hungry Ghosts” is based on the Dark Horse Graphic Novel by the late Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose. “Hungry Ghosts” will be an anthology of frightening, hilarious, twisted, and culinary-inspired ghost stories. Each episode will range in tone and will look completely different from the last, taking advantage of various forms of animation to best fit each story.
“Superbago,” a collaboration with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and previously developed as a feature film at Sony Animation, will be a half-hour comedy that blends Claymation and live-action, and follows the adventures of two dimwitted animated heroes traveling in a very real Winnebago around the actual United States of America.
The return of “The Boondocks,” a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, is a complete re-imagining of the beloved and wildly rebellious animated satire for this modern era, and chronicles the adventures of the Freeman family against the evil local government tyrant Uncle Ruckus, who rules fictional Woodcrest County, Maryland with an iron fist.
Tartakovsky’s “Black Knight” is an original, action-adventure epic that tells the story of a highly skilled and faithful knight who, after failing to protect his king, must transform himself into the Black Knight to save the kingdom.
“Fixed,” the studio’s first R-rated comedy, directed by Tartakovsky is the story of an average, all-around good dog who is in love with the show dog next door, and what happens when he learns that he is going to get neutered in the morning. What does a dog do with his last night out with his besties?