Turns out that some dreams do come true. Nimona, an animated movie that had its share of controversy and seemed like it would never see the light of day, is finally making its way towards our screens, thanks to Netflix. The streamer announced that they teamed up with Annapurna Pictures in order to premiere the highly anticipated adaptation in 2023. The story follows a shape-shifter who attempts to bring down a corrupt institution.
Chloë Grace Moretz is set to voice the title character, while Academy Award winner Riz Ahmed will voice Ballister Boldheart, a villain who is hellbent on destroying the Institute, an entity that kicked him out as a knight after he lost an arm in battle. Nimona insists on being his sidekick, but he’s reluctant to take in helpers. Rounding up the main cast is Eugene Lee Yang as Ambrosius Goldenloin, Ballister’s lover who is now the Institute’s champion.
The main voice cast had been on board since early 2021, when Collider reported that Moretz and Ahmed were attached to the project even though the movie’s future was uncertain. Back then, we revealed that there was still hope for Nimona, since the movie was as far as 75% completed and animation studio Blue Sky was reluctant to let all that work go to waste.
The story is adapted from a best-selling graphic novel by author ND Stevenson. The movie is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, both of whom worked on Ice Age: Collision Course and The Peanuts Movie, and made their directorial debut with 2019’s Spies in Disguise.
Even though we’re going to have to wait a while to see it, Nimona coming to life is a huge deal. The project was previously in active development at Blue Sky, a division from now-rebranded 20th Century Studios that produced animated movie hits like the Ice Age franchise, Rio, and The Peanuts Movie. When Disney bought the studio, however, Blue Sky was shut down and Nimona got shelved. This angered animation professionals not only because they saw their work become meaningless, but also because it silenced LGBTQIA+ voices that would finally get to tell their story through a mainstream platform – the movie was set to feature explicit same-sex affection, aside from having characters that highlight queerness and identity fluidity.
Netflix has yet to announce a specific release date for Nimona in 2023. You can check out the official synopsis here:
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.