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'The Bad Guys': Sam Rockwell is a conniving wolf in DreamWorks' kid-friendly riff on 'Reservoir Dogs'

The Bad Guys arrives in theaters on April 22, 2022.

By Josh Weiss
The Bad Guys PRESS

What happens when the "Big Bad Wolf" from all the fairy tales we heard as children decides to turn his life around? That's the central premise behind the trailer for The Bad Guys, the next big screen offering from DreamWorks Animation.

Based on the best-selling Scholastic book series written by Aaron Blabey, the film centers around an anthropomorphic crew of animal criminals: dashing pick-pocket Mr. Wolf (Sam Rockwell), safecracker Mr. Snake (Marc Maron), master-of-disguise Mr. Shark (Craig Robinson), short-fused “muscle” Mr. Piranha (Anthony Ramos) and expert hacker Ms. Tarantula (Awkwafina, Crazy Rich Asians), aka "Webs."

This Reservoir Dogs-style team of suave and law-breaking rapscallions is the best at what they do, but when they're finally caught, Mr. Wolf brokers a deal to save them from prison, promising that the Bad Guys will do good (a deal he has no intention of actually keeping). But when a new villain threatens the city, however, this crew of outsiders may discover that doing what's right for once will result in something they've always wanted: acceptance.

Watch the trailer (whose animation style reminds us a little of Cowboy Bebop's) below:

"The joy of creating this narrative is being able to touch on themes and concepts that don’t often appear in work for this age group," Blabey said during an interview with Scholastic. "This extends to character development, too. The characters don’t just reboot at the beginning of each episode. They grow and change. And provided it’s all bedded on good laughs and rip-roaring action sequences, the deeper layers can exist happily without spoiling the fun."

Richard Ayoade (Soul) co-stars as Professor Marmalade, an arrogant, yet adorable, guinea pig, who helps shepherd the criminals along the path of righteousness. Yes, that is another Quentin Tarantino reference for those of you keeping track at home. Zazie Beetz (Joker), Lilly Singh (Bad Moms), and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) round out the voice cast.

Pierre Perifel, a veteran animator on the Kung Fu Panda series, makes his directorial debut with this project. Damon Ross (a development executive on Trolls and a co-producer of Nacho Libre) and Rebecca Huntley (an associate producer on The Boss Baby) serve as producers. Executive producers are Aaron Blabey, Etan Cohen, and Patrick Hughes.

Bad Guys arrives in theaters on April 22, 2022.

The Bad Guys Poster PRESS

DreamWorks Animation & SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal.