Netflix Picks Up LGBTQ Animated Film ‘Nimona’ Dropped by Disney

Adaptation of ND Stevenson’s graphic novel was scrapped after Disney shut down Blue Sky Studios following Fox merger

"Nimona" (Netflix)

Netflix announced on Monday morning that it would be picking up “Nimona,” the LGBTQ animated project based on ND Stevenson’s graphic novel that was one of the projects scrapped following the Disney/Fox merger in 2019. The film is already in production and will be released in 2023.

“Nimona” will star Chloë Grace Moretz as the antihero Nimona, a shapeshifter bent on destroying a powerful organization known as the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics by any means necessary — even if it means killing people. To this end, she teams up with with Lord Ballister Blackheart (Riz Ahmed), who also seeks to bring down the Institution but will not break his own code of ethics to do so.

Standing in their way is the Institution’s champion, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin (Eugene Lee Yang), the knight who defeated Ballister in a duel and cast him out from the Institution. Goldenloin has been tasked to destroy Nimona, but he hides a secret about where Nimona’s powers come from … along with the romantic relationship he once had with Ballister.

Acclaimed for its queer themes, “Nimona” was greenlit by Fox to be made into an animated feature by “Ice Age” animation studio Blue Sky. But well into production, the project was shut down along with the rest of Blue Sky in 2020 after Disney acquired Fox the year before.

Last month, in the midst of internal backlash at Disney over CEO Bob Chapek’s handling of Florida’s since-passed “Don’t Say Gay” bill, three former Blue Sky staffers told Insider that a few months prior to Blue Sky’s shuttering, Disney executives had objected to queer elements in a presentation reel of “Nimona” shown during a meeting with Blue Sky leaders, including a same-sex kiss. Disney didn’t respond to the outlet’s request for comment.

The complaints from Blue Sky echo those of a public statement signed by LGBTQ Pixar employees in response to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, accusing Disney leadership of demanding cuts to “nearly every moment of overtly gay affection” in projects under Pixar development. TheWrap has reached out to Disney for comment.

Under Netflix, “Nimona” is being produced by DNEG Animation with Nick Bruno and Troy Quane (“Spies in Disguise”) directing. Roy Lee, Karen Ryan and Robert L. Baird are producers with Megan Ellison, Andrew Millstein, and Julie Zackary as executive producers.