Variety is reporting that Oscar-winning director Matthew A. Cherry will make his animated debut feature with Tut, from Sony Pictures Animation. Described as “an Afro-futuristic, coming-of-age story of the boy king Tutankhamun,” the project sprang from an idea by Cherry and Monica A. Young. It sounds very, very cool.
The project marks a natural extension between Cherry and Sony Pictures Animation. “Hair Love,” which Cherry directed with the brilliant Bruce W. Smith and Everett Downing, Jr. began life as a Kickstarter project but rose to prominence after Sony Pictures Animation got onboard, playing the short before Angry Birds 2 and spearheading its Academy Awards campaign. (The animation for the short was largely produced by Lion Forge Animation.) Then earlier this year it was announced that Cherry was developing (and would show-run) a spin-off of “Hair Love” called Young Love that will eventually air on HBO Max, with animation by Sony Pictures Animation. (Also, earlier this year, Made by Maddie, a Nickelodeon show that was accused of plagiarizing “Hair Love,” was pulled by the network before it even aired.) So it makes sense that Cherry would stick around his Sony Pictures Animation team.
Cherry told Variety that he was “beyond excited to explore the magical world of ancient Egypt through the eyes of its youngest ruler, King Tut. I’ve always wanted to dive deeper into the legend of the boy king and we can’t think of better partners to embark upon this journey with than Kristine Belson, Karen Toliver and the great people at Sony Pictures Animation.”
Currently, Tut fits in with a growing list of wonderful-sounding Sony Pictures Animation projects, including the recently wrapped Connected (release date TBD); Vivo, a former DreamWorks Animation project that migrated to SPA, with songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda; and new entries in the Hotel Transylvania and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse franchises.