Netflix just saved this canceled Disney movie

nimona movie still
(Image credit: Annapurna Pictures)

Believe it or not, before it gained a reputation for cancelling all your favorite shows, Netflix was known for bringing them back to life. Now, in a move that harkens back to the days it revived Arrested Development and Lucifer, Netflix has saved a cancelled Disney movie from the abyss.

Nimona, an animated movie based on ND Stevenson’s 2015 graphic novel, was in the works at 20th Century Fox’s Blue Sky Studios. Then Disney came along, bought Fox in 2019, and shut Blue Sky down almost two years later. Now it’s confirmed Netflix is saving the movie from the scrapheap. 

Stevenson took to Twitter to announce the arrival, and confirmed that Nimona will hit Netflix in 2023. 

Chloe Grace Mortez will voice the titular character, while Riz Ahmed will play her companion Ballister Blackheart. Eugene Lee Yang will play Ambrosius Goldenloin, champion knight of the Institution and rocking a name that any adult actor would likely kill to have.

The movie is being directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, the duo behind Spies in Disguise; that’s the movie where Tom Holland turns Will Smith into a pigeon, and was Blue Sky’s final movie following the Disney acquisition

Nimona was originally published as a webcomic between 2012 and 2014, before being published as a collected work in 2015. It follows Nimona, a shapeshifter who joins forces with Blackheart on his mission to prove the over-controlling Institution is up to some shady stuff, and its knights aren’t the heroes they claim to be.

Blackheart has a villainous streak, but tries to operate under his own strict code of ethics. Nimona is not so noble, and combined with her shapeshifting powers, puts the pair in some difficult situations.

Apparently, Nimona was “75% complete” at the time Blue Sky was shut down, and was on track to be finished by October 2021. According to three members of the Blue Sky team, Disney leadership had pushed back against the movie over its LGBTQ themes and a same-sex kiss.

This was one of many accusations of LGBTQ censorship leveled at Disney following its lackluster response to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Workers at Pixar were particularly vocal, penning an open letter claiming Disney has a history of censoring LGBTQ representation in movies.

The good news for fans of the graphic novel is that Nimona is going to see the light of day. The movie was shopped around to other studios after Blue Sky shut down, with news of the revival confirming Annapurna Pictures picked up the movie earlier this year. Netflix will, naturally, be the distributor.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.