HBO Max & Cartoon Network announce Animated Adaptation of Roye Okupe’s “Iyanu: Child Of Wonder”

Coming soon to HBO Max and Cartoon Network is a 2D animated adaptation of “Iyanu: Child Of Wonder”, a graphic novel that is heavily influenced by the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

The Dark Horse Comics/YouNeek Studios‘ series will be financed and overseen by Lion Forge AnimationVariety reports.

The series, created by Roye Okupe, founder of YouNeek Studios, is a superhero tale and follows heroine Iyanu, who must uncover her divine powers to save the world on the brink of destruction.

According to Variety:

The series follows Iyanu, a teenage orphan who spends her days studying Yoruba history and ancient arts but yearns for a normal life. One day, responding to danger, she unknowingly triggers her divine powers, the likes of which have not been seen since the Age of Wonders. With newly discovered superpowers, Iyanu joins forces with two other teenagers as they embark on a remarkable journey to discover the truth about the evil lurking in her homeland. Throughout her adventure, she’ll uncover the truth about her past, her parents, and her ultimate destiny to save the world.

Godwin Akpan who illustrated the books, will work as Art Director for the project. While Okupe, who is also an Executive Producer for the project, will write and direct multiple episodes, Lion Forge’s Head of Production Saxton Moore will serve as Supervising Director. The writers room will be led by Brandon Easton.

Speaking on the announcement, Okupe said: “When I set out to create ‘Iyanu’ for a global audience, I wanted to develop a world that combined everything I love about the fantasy genre with the majesty and awe that is ancient West Africa. On top of that, working with Godwin Akpan, who illustrated the books, as our art director and collaborating with a thoughtful studio like Lion Forge Animation that prioritizes authenticity and diversity, is beyond belief.”

Amy FriedmanWarner Bros‘ Head of Kids and Family Programming said: “‘Iyanu: Child of Wonder’ has it all – vast world-building, authentic characters, a strong, African female hero at the center, and a first-class team of stellar 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 feel so lucky to be the home of ‘Iyanu’ and partnering with this team.”

Lion Forge’s founder David Steward II added: “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. 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.”

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