First announced in 2021, a new animated movie about female K-Pop stars who, in between gigs, go about slaying evil spirits was announced to be in development at Sony Pictures Animation. A year later, we reported the movie had moved to Netflix, and now it’s been confirmed to be landing exclusively on Netflix.
Note: This post was released in April 2022 and has been updated to reflect new developments.
Variety unveiled the animated project in March 2021 and reported that directors Maggie Kang and Chris Appelhans were on board to direct. Kang is best known for her work on The Lego Ninjago Movie. At the same time, Applehans was involved as a writer and director on Netflix’s 2021 release of Wish Dragon last year (which is reportedly getting a sequel, although it’s unclear whether that will be at Netflix).
Danya Jimenez and Hannah McMechan are writers on the animation project, while Aron Warner (Shrek) and Scott Berri are producers.
Here’s what’s known about the story of the upcoming project:
“The story of a world-renowned K-Pop girl group, as they balance their lives in the spotlight with their secret identities as bad-ass demon hunters, set against a colorful backdrop of fashion, food, style, and the most popular music movement of this generation.”
Training for the big debut. K-Pop: Demon Hunters is currently in development at Sony Animation.
This film follows a world-renowned K-Pop girl group as they balance their lives in the spotlight with their secret identities as badass demon hunters. pic.twitter.com/sFScsOqMN5
— Sony Pictures Animation (@SonyAnimation) March 8, 2021
Since that initial announcement, things have been quietly worked on behind the scenes. As Variety notes, a release schedule at the time had not been announced.
That’s where we come onto Netflix. Two filings registered recently tie the movie to Netflix. Multiple documents suggest that Netflix is taking over the release of the movie. In recent months, Netflix also made filings with a similar wording for Nimona, which was officially unveiled to be headed to Netflix in 2023.
Of course, even if the movie did get a theatrical run, it would’ve appeared on Netflix, albeit it only for a limited time, given Sony and Netflix have an overall first-window deal for all Sony movies (both live-action and animation) in the US in 2022.
Sony Pictures Animation did not respond to a request for comment.
In February 2023, however, Sony’s movie chief confirmed that the project was with Netflix. In an interview with Business Insider, Tom Rothman was talking about the first window deal Netflix had with Sony and added:
“We made a few direct-to-platform films for them. “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” And we’re making a big animated K-Pop musical.”
The move to Netflix wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary. In 2021, Netflix partnered with Sony Animation on three projects to help bolster its slate of movies impacted by COVID-19 delays. The Wish Dragon, Vivo, and The Mitchells vs. The Machines were all sold to Netflix. The latter was a big success for Netflix, even netting it an Oscar nomination.