Netflix saves Nimona after Disney scrapped LGBTQ-friendly animated film
Big news for fans of ND Stevenson, as the creator of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power announced today that they will finally get to see Nimona, the animated fantasy film based on their beloved graphic novel, come to fruition.
The movie was initially set up at Fox and Blue Sky Studios, but after Disney acquired them in 2020, the Mouse House shut down the animated studio and scrapped the film. Today, Netflix confirms it is saving the movie and will release it in 2023.
Nimona already started production again early last year with DNEG Animation, and we have a first-look image. The streamer released a peek at character renderings for the titular heroine, voiced by Chloë Grace Moretz, and Ballister Boldheart, voiced by Riz Ahmed. Eugene Lee Yang has also been cast as Ambrosius Goldenloin.
"Nimona's always been a spunky little story that just wouldn't stop," Stevenson tweeted. "She's a fighter…but she's also got some really awesome people fighting for her."
The story, which became popular in queer circles for its inclusivity and representation, follows a shape-shifting teen named Nimona, the only one who can help a knight prove his innocence after being framed for a crime he didn't commit. However, she just might also be a monster he's sworn to kill.
In the midst of a controversy surrounding Disney and Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, many in animation came forward about how the company has been censoring LGBTQ representation in their work. Former employees spoke to Business Insider and stated Disney executives took issue with the LGBTQ themes of Nimona, including a same-sex kiss.
A spokesperson for Disney did not reply to EW's request for comment.
Nimona began as a web comic in 2012 and was later printed as a graphic novel in 2015. The comic won an Eisner Award, a Cybils Award, and a Cartoonist Studio Prize. Fox Animation planned to adapt the material for the screen as early as 2015, and it's been a long road to see it finally happen.
It was still on Disney's release schedule up until the closure of Blue Sky. The Hollywood Reporter separately reported the movie had been 75-percent completed before Disney ditched the project entirely. Stevenson called it a "sad day" at the time but is now clearly singing a different tune.
Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (Spies in Disguise) are directing Nimona, which is being produced by Roy Lee, Karen Ryan, and Robert L. Baird. Megan Ellison, Andrew Millstein, and Julie Zackary serve as executive producers.