‘Child of Wonder’ on its way to HBO Max and Cartoon Network as an animated series

HBO Max has announced plans to bring African stories to the big screen. With Cartoon Network and Lion Forge, the graphic novel series Iyanu: Child of Wonders is intended to be adapted into a 2D cartoon.

Created by Nigerian filmmaker Roye Okupe, Iyanu: Child of Wonders is described as an “epic superhero tale steeped in Nigeria’s rich culture, music and mythology”. The series chronicles the journey of a teenage girl tasked with uncovering the story behind her powers and saving her people from an ancient curse that threatens to destroy humanity.

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The story is heavily influenced by the history and achievements of the Yoruba people of Nigeria.

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Black-owned animation studio Lion Forge Animation, founded by David Steward II, finances and oversees production. Brandon Easton and Okupe are expected to lead the writers room. Executive producers are David Steward II and Matt Heath of Lion Forge Animation, Erica Dupuis of Impact X Capital, Ryan Haidarian of Forefront Media Group, Doug Schwalbe and Carl Reed.

“The authenticity of Iyanu’s story means everything to us and aligns perfectly with our mission to create and deliver inclusive content to a global audience,” Steward said. “A powerful way to accomplish and sustain this is through franchise building, and the depth and layers of the Iyanu world allow us to explore and create a beautiful on-screen universe alongside great partners.”

Okupe added, “When I decided to create Iyanu for a global audience, I wanted to develop a world that combines everything I love about the fantasy genre with the majesty and awe of ancient West Africa.

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Irene B. Bowles