Matthew A Cherry to Direct King Tut Story as Feature Debut at Sony Pictures Animation

Oscar winner and former NFL player behind “Hair Love” will give an Afro-futuristic take on the Egyptian boy king

Matthew A. Cherry will make his directorial feature debut on “Tut,” a new take on the Egyptian boy-king Tutankhamun, that has begun in development at Sony Pictures Animation, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

“Tut” (tentatively titled) is an Afro-futuristic take on the boy king and is based on an original idea from Cherry and Monica A. Young. It will be a fantastical journey through ancient Egypt and aims to celebrate the culture that introduced the world to countless modern conventions and technologies.

Cherry and Young will also executive produce the film.

“Matthew is one of today’s most exceptional creative voices. We had the privilege of collaborating with him on his first animated short, which has since evolved into his first animated series – and we’re so proud to team up again on his first animated feature, TUT.  Matthew has a bold and modern take on this story rarely told, filled with magic, music, and powerful themes – and we’re thrilled that we get to go on this adventure together,” Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, said in a statement.

“I am beyond excited to explore the magical world of ancient Egypt through the eyes of its youngest ruler, King Tut. I’ve always wanted to dive deeper into the legend of the boy king and we can’t think of better partners to embark upon this journey with than Kristine Belson, Karen Toliver and the great people at Sony Pictures Animation,” Cherry said in a statement.

Cherry recently set an animated series with Sony Pictures Animation for HBO Max titled “Young Love” that features the same characters from his Oscar-nominated short “Hair Love.”

“Tut” is the third collaboration between Cherry and Sony Animation’s EVP of creative, Karen Rupert Toliver, who also earned an Academy Award as the producer of “Hair Love.”

Sony Pictures Animation next up has “Connected,” which is produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and “Vivo,” an animated musical that features songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Cherry is represented by ICM Partners, Blue Key Management and The Law Offices of R. Vaughn Gill.

Variety first reported the news.