Nimona creator ND Stevenson has confirmed that the adaptation of their webcomic Nimona, previously being worked on at the Disney-shuttered animation studio Blue Sky Studios, has been revived at Netflix for a 2023 release.
Netflix released the announcement only minutes after Stevenson tweeted, revealing that Chloë Grace Moretz will voice Nimona, while Riz Ahmed and Eugene Yang are on board as the voices of Lord Ballister Boldheart (formerly Blackheart) and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, respectively.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding Disney’s response to the Don’t Say Gay bill, creators from the now-defunct animation studio Blue Sky came forward to share their experiences dealing with Disney executives after the studio acquired Blue Sky as part of its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. They specifically outlined how Disney execs balked when they were shown test footage of the two male rivals within the film kissing. The pushback was so strong that they edited out the footage, but hoped to return it to the film by the time it released.
While it’s not clear how Annapurna acquired the rights to the film, it seems safe to assume that the inherent queerness of Nimona isn’t going to be censored. The official synopsis reads:
A knight is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and the only person who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona, a shape-shifting teen who might also be a monster he’s sworn to kill. 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.
ND Stevenson has been open about how Nimona is a story informed by his own life and experiences. Although Nimona started as a webcomic that Stevenson produced while still in college, it feels poignant to have this film coming out now, sensitively exploring how these characters are facets of a single person.
Nimona will be available on Netflix in 2023.
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