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'Nimona' animated film revived at Netflix after Disney shutdown, coming in 2023

A year after losing its studio, Nimona is back and ready for a Netflix debut.

By Matthew Jackson

A year after the project stalled with seemingly no hope of revival, Nimona is back. 

Netflix announced Monday morning that it will release the animated adaptation of author ND Stevenson's acclaimed graphic novel in 2023, putting the project back on track one year after its original animation home was shuttered in the wake of the Disney/Fox merger. The film version of the fantasy/sci-fi hybrid tale will be directed by Spies in Disguise helmers Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, and will star Chloë Grace Moretz and Riz Ahmed. 

Originally appearing as a webcomic beginning back in 2012, Nimona follows the adventures of the title character, a shapeshifting creature who most often appears as a young girl, who teams up with a disgraced knight as he takes on the Institution he was once part of, uncovering a conspiracy in the process. The comic was released as a graphic novel in 2015 and went on to win an Eisner Award, a Cybils Award, a Cartoonists Studio Prize, and other honors. Here's how Netflix explains its version of the story in an official synopsis:

"A Knight [Ahmed] is framed for a crime he didn't commit and the only person who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona [Moretz], 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."

The streamer also released a first-look image from the film, which you can see below:


Development of a Nimona feature film dates all the way back to 2015, when Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios took on adaptation duties under the direction of Patrick Osborne. The film continued to make progress over the next four years, until scheduling delays began to mount amid Disney's efforts to acquire Fox. In February of last year, after several release date pushbacks, Disney announced that it would shutter Blue Sky Studios as part of its restructuring of Fox's entertainment assets, leaving Nimona cancelled. 

Now, Netflix and Annapurna Pictures have swooped in to make the film a reality alongside DNEG Animation and Stevenson, who announced the news this way: "Nimona’s always been a spunky little story that just wouldn’t stop. She’s a fighter…but she’s also got some really awesome people fighting for her. I am excited out of my mind to announce that THE NIMONA MOVIE IS ALIVE…coming at you in 2023 from Annapurna and Netflix."

Nimona arrives next year, after a nearly decade-long journey to the screen.