Netflix will be the streaming home of a new DreamWorks Animation feature film, Orion and the Dark, set to premiere in 2024. Here’s what you need to know.
This is the second DreamWorks Animation movie that’s gone exclusively to Netflix, with the first being Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, released in 2021. Of course, Netflix in the US currently carries all DreamWorks theatrical movies within the first window.
The movie has been in the works at DreamWorks Animation for the last couple of years, with the book first optioned by the acclaimed studio in the mid-2010s as early as 2015. It was first announced and attached to Netflix during the DreamWorks panel at the Annecy Film Festival.
Here’s what you need to know about Orion and the Dark:
Who’s behind Orion and the Dark?
Industry veteran Sean Charmatz is directing the movie, who has worked on several projects throughout the years, but this marks his directorial debut. Previous projects Charmatz has worked on include The Lego Movie 2, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants, and Trolls.
Charlie Kaufman is behind the new movie’s script. Kaufman is best known for writing on critically acclaimed movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and more recently for Netflix, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
Lloyd Taylor and Brandon Sawyer worked on additional screenplay material. Peter McCown serves as a producer on the project, with Walt Dohrn listed as an executive producer.
The animation for the film is being done by Mikros Animation’s studios in Paris and Bangalore.
What’s the story of Orion and the Dark?
The story is adapted from the best-selling 40-page picture book Orion and the Dark by author and illustrator Emma Yarlett published in May 2014. The author is also behind books like Nibbles, Dragon Post, Poppy Pickle, and It’s Mine.
Netflix has provided an official synopsis of the new animated feature film, which appears to be faithful to the book it’s based on:
“Orion seems a lot like your average elementary school kid – shy, unassuming, harboring a secret crush. But underneath his seemingly normal exterior, Orion is a ball of adolescent anxiety, completely consumed by irrational fears of bees, dogs, the ocean, cell phone waves, murderous gutter clowns, and even falling off of a cliff. But of all his fears, the thing he’s the most afraid of is what he confronts on a nightly basis: the dark. So when the literal embodiment of his worst fear pays a visit, Dark whisks Orion away on a roller coaster ride around the world to prove there is nothing to be afraid of in the night.
As the unlikely pair grows closer, Orion must decide if he can learn to accept the unknown – to stop letting fear control his life and finally embrace the joy of living.”
Who is in the voice cast for Orion and the Dark?
Two actors have been lined up for the project thus far, voicing the two titular characters.
- Jacob Tremblay , the Canadian actor who is best known for voicing and starring in tiles like Wonder, Good Boys, Luca, and The Little Mermaid, will voice Orion.
- Paul Walter Hauser will voice Dark in the movie. He’s best known for his role on Netflix’s Cobra Kai, starring as Raymond ‘Stingray’ Porter, plus starred in movies like I, Tonya, BlacKkKlansman, and Richard Jewell.
Don’t forget that Netflix has more animation announcements to come out throughout the 2023 Annecy Film Festival. We’re getting updates on The Monkey King and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget.
For more on the upcoming Netflix slate of animated movies coming in 2023 and 2024, check out our full guide here.