A 2D animated version of “Iyanu: Child of Wonder,” a graphic novel series by Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios that draws extensively on the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, has been announced by HBO MAX and Cartoon Network.
The animation company Lion Forge Animation, which is owned by people of colour, will finance and manage the production.
A superhero story based on Nigerian culture, music, and mythology, “Iyanu: Child of Wonder” is set in the enchanted Yorubaland. Iyanu, a teenage orphan who spends her days learning Yoruba history and old arts but longs for a typical existence, is the protagonist of the series.
She unintentionally unleashes her supernatural abilities, the such of which has never been been there since the period of Wonders, one day in response to a threat.
Iyanu teams up with 2 other teenagers as they set out on an unique trip to learn the truth about the darkness lurking in her nation with her newly discovered superpowers. She will discover the truth about her background, her family, and her final destiny to save the planet along her voyage.
Roye Okupe is the show’s creator and will also pen and helm a number of the episodes. Saxton Moore, the production manager at Lion Forge, serves as the supervising director.
Brandon Easton is the director of the writers room. Okupe, Doug Schwalbe, Carl Reed, David Steward II and Matt Heath of Lion Forge, Erica Dupuis of Impact X Capital, and Ryan Haidarian of Forefront Media Group are among the executive producers.
The head of kids and family programming at Warner Bros Amy Friedman said of the superhero series, “While created for kids, the series will resonate with anyone looking for an adventure filled with surprise, magic, lore and legend. We feel so lucky to be the home of ‘Iyanu’ and partnering with this team.
The authenticity of the ‘Iyanu’ story means everything to us and aligns perfectly with our mission to create and deliver inclusive content to global audiences,” said Steward, founder of Lion Forge. “A powerful means of accomplishing and sustaining this is through franchise building, and the depth and layers of the Iyanu world allow us to explore and create a beautiful universe on-screen alongside tremendous partners.”