DreamWorks Animation is set to bring the enchanting world of Emma Yarlett’s book to life in a new animated feature titled “Orion and the Dark.” The announcement was made during the Annecy International Animation Festival, and the film is slated to hit Netflix in 2024.
The heartwarming story revolves around Orion, a young boy voiced by Jacob Tremblay, who grapples with an intense fear of the dark. Things take an unexpected turn when the very embodiment of his fear, aptly named “the Dark” and voiced by Paul Walter Hauser, pays him a visit. The narrative unfolds as Orion navigates through accepting the unknown and finding joy in living, with the Dark becoming an unexpected ally.
Adding an extra layer of intrigue to the project is the involvement of acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, known for his distinctive and imaginative storytelling in films like “Being John Malkovich” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Peter McCown is taking on the role of producer, while Bonnie Arnold, known for her work on the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy, is serving as executive producer. The film marks the feature directorial debut of Sean Charmatz, a storyboard artist on DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour.”
The filmmakers aim to create a visually captivating experience with an illustrated, hand-drawn aesthetic, intending to infuse warmth and texture into the animation. Characters such as Sleep, Quiet, Insomnia, Dreams, and Unexplained Noises will represent various facets of the Dark’s entities, contributing to the richness of the narrative.
“DreamWorks Animation is known for delivering compelling and emotionally resonant animated stories, and ‘Orion and the Dark’ seems poised to continue that tradition with its exploration of fear, acceptance, and the transformative power of friendship. As the studio expands its repertoire, this heartening tale is sure to captivate audiences of all ages when it arrives on Netflix in 2024.
Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle