HBO Max and Cartoon Network have announced that they will be adding a series from the Dark Horse Comics catalogue to their upcoming lineup, Iyanu: Child of Wonder.
The African Comic is a series initially self-published through Roye Okupe’s YouNeek Studios. Okupe has curated a line of comics centred on African stories, such as Iyanu: Child of Wonder, Malika: Warrior Queen and E.X.O: The Legend of Wale Williams.
The pair indicated that Iyanu: Child of Wonder will be getting a 2D children’s animated adaptation at the two Warner Bros. Discovery networks.
According to media reports, animation studio Lion Forge Animation is financing and overseeing the project, with Roye Okupe also writing and directing several episodes.
Speaking about the series, Nigerian creator Roye Okupe said, “I created Iyanu for a global audience. I wanted to develop a world that combined everything I enjoyed about the fantasy genre with the majesty and awe that is ancient West Africa.”
“Working with Godwin Akpan, who illustrated the books, as our art director and collaborating with an experienced studio such as Lion Forge Animation that prioritizes authenticity and diversity, is beyond belief.”
Lion Forge’s head of production Saxton Moore will be the supervising director, with Brandon Easton leading the writer’s room.
The executive producers include Okupe, Doug Schwalbe, Carl Reed, Impact X Capital’s Erica Dupuis, Lion Forge’s David Stewart II and Matt Heath, and Forefront Media Group’s Ryan Haidarian.
Head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros, Amy Friedman, said, “Iyanu: Child of Wonder has it all a vast world, building, authentic characters, with strong African female hero at the centre, and a first-class team of creators and producers.”
“While created for kids, the series will resonate with anyone looking for an adventure filled with surprise, magic, lore and legend. We delighted to be the home of Iyanu and partnering with this team,” she added.
According to Lion Forge founder David Stewart II, “The authenticity of the Iyanu story is in line with our mission to create and deliver inclusive content to global audiences.”