Jeff Smith's acclaimed Bone comics becoming Netflix animated series
For many comic lovers of a certain age, Jeff Smith’s Bone graphic novels were an introduction to the storytelling medium. Just think back to your elementary Scholastic book fairs and recall their mass presence. After multiple attempts across decades to get the story of the Bone cousins on the screen, Netflix hopes its planned adaptation is the one that will finally stick.
On Wednesday, the streamer announced the acquisition of rights to Bone, which won numerous awards since launching in 1991 and was named one of Time‘s “10 best graphic novels of all time.”
The comics followed Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone — a.k.a. the Bone cousins — and it’s Netflix’s goal to create “an animated kids series that follows the iconic Bone cousins on an adventure through a vast, uncharted desert and into a mysterious valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures,” according to a press release.
In the 1990s, Smith tried to negotiate a Bone movie with Nickelodeon, but said they wanted “a Britney Spears song” on the soundtrack and the Bones “to be voiced by 6-year-olds,” according to a 2003 interview with Ain’t It Cool News.
In 2008, Warner Bros. scooped up the film rights, though plans failed to bear fruit. By 2016, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne was tapped to co-write the script on the first Bone movie. Obviously, that didn’t go much further.
“I’ve waited a long time for this,” Smith said in a statement. “Netflix is the perfect home for Bone. Fans of the books know that the story develops chapter by chapter and book by book. An animated series is exactly the way to do this! The team at Netflix understands Bone and is committed to doing something special — this is good news for kids and cartoon lovers all over the world.”