Beating out some other major studios, Fox Animation has secured rights to adapt Noelle Stevenson’s bestselling graphic novel Nimona for the big screen, with Patrick Osborne (pictured above, director of the Oscar-winning short film Feast) at the helm.
The story takes place in a medieval future, where knights utilize advanced technology while still carrying swords, and a regime of warrior knights rules the land. It centers on a powerful shapeshifter who enters into a murky alliance with a disgraced-knight-turned-supervillain (who isn’t all that villainous) in order to unmask the widespread corruption within the presiding government. But as their initially small acts of mischief escalate into an all-out war, the knight realizes that his shapeshifter sidekick is a lot more dangerous than he could have imagined.
Stevenson wrote and drew Nimona as a web comic while a college student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, eventually making the project her thesis. Soon, it had drawn widespread acclaim well outside the classroom, leading to Harvey and Eisner Awards, as well as the 2012 Slate Cartoonist Studio Prize for best web comic. If that wasn’t enough, the graphic novel also landed on the New York Times bestseller list.
Marc Haines will pen the script for the adaptation. The former DreamWorks exec turned to screenwriting a few years back and penned the English-language adaptation of the Norwegian hit Troll Hunter for Neil Marshall to direct, along with Laika’s upcoming Kubo and the Two Strings. He’s expected to work with Stevenson closely to retain the deadpan feel of the comic.
Here’s the official synopsis for Nimona. Be warned, it’s a mouthful:
The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.