The platform also finds director Chris Williams (The New Heroes) for a new fantasy animated film.
This year Netflix and animation have had their ups and downs. the Pinocchio by Guillermo del Toro received excellent reviews, Wendell & Wilddesigned by Henry Selick and Jordan Peele intrigued the public and The Sea Monster has become the platform’s biggest anime hit, staying in the top 10 for several weeks since it went live last July. But in parallel, the streaming service reduced its service dedicated to animated films, firing Phyl Rynda, its creative director dedicated to this type of cinema in particular, in April 2022. This shock announcement followed a loss of subscribers of around 200,000 accounts, a first for the studio in 10 years.
After a loss of 200,000 subscribers, Netflix cancels animation projects
In this context, learning by The Hollywood Reporter that The Sea Monster will have a sequel is good news. Better still, its creator, Chris Williams, will team up again with the producers of the N rouge platform for another project, still lively. “I pitched them an original fantasy story, he details. It will be similar to sea monster in the sense that I want to create a completely coherent world. In tone, it will be between The Lord of the Rings and Princess Bride. Game Of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are examples of how to start a story, and how to build a world a huge world where many events taking place outside the main plot can be told. (In addition to this inspiration)we also want to have fun with the conventions of the genre, like Princess Bride. It will not be a parody, we will not want to make fun of fantasy, but rather bring a refreshing new perspective.”
Before signing with Netflix to design there The Sea Beast, his first animated film made solo, Chris Williams had made a career at Disney. 25 years as an animator and co-director, notably on The New Heroes and Moana, which were critically acclaimed. A solid experience that allowed him to develop this story between Dragons, Mody Dick and Pirates of the Caribbean, filled with sea kaijus. The interested party explains that his bosses offered him to continue the adventure even before his film was broadcast: “We had just finished editing, we were in post-production when they started talking to me about working together again on the sequel, as well as on another project. It was cool of them to let me know that they wanted me to stay. I felt really supported throughout the making of the sea monster, even though it was an ambitious film. It represented a substantial financial investment for them, a risk, but they always let me make the film I had in mind. I have always listened to the opinions of others, but they have never forced my hand. They left me the orders for the film I wanted to make. I really enjoyed it and that’s why I wanted to repeat the experience.”
The story of sea monster did not necessarily call for a sequel: the plot of the first film was complete, without necessarily a teaser of elements to be developed, but its world being indeed rich, it seemed possible that its creators had kept some on hand to be able to extend this universe if successful. “I never saw beyond the first film, we weren’t planning a series, acknowledges Williams. For us, we had finished, it was good. I just wanted it to be a fun, uncompromising experience to try and prepare for future material. Our priority with this first film was to make it plausible, realistic. When I thought about the ending, I thought everything was in order. (warning, spoilers!) You have this dad and his daughter sitting on the dock, the world has changed, they’ve given up on monster hunting, isn’t that great? But the more I thought about it afterwards, the more I realized that the story wasn’t quite over…”
So what will The Sea Beast 2 be about? According to its creator, it will be perfectly in the continuity of the first (which it is better to have seen before reading the sequel): “First, I think about this brand new family that brings together Jacob and Masie. All of a sudden, Jacob is a parent, and of a particularly lively child, you know? When you leave them on the dock, you know that’s not just what raising a child is all about. It’s a lot more messy in real life, more complicated than that. This idea of the challenge of family was interesting to me. And I I also wondered how each hunter in the world was going to react, were they going to give up their livelihood and their identity so easily? (Will Red be back?) May be ? All I can say is that a story keeps evolving. Even in dramatic terms. The Sea Monster was called Jacob and the Sea Beast before the character of Masie existed. And then he went through a radical transformation. Everything I say today may change in four years. (…) I am actively developing these two projects. It wasn’t planned, but it just happens, and the producers will let me decide which one I want to wrap first. For now, I’m exploring these two worlds in parallel, I’m writing the main lines, I’m pitching ideas, I’m talking to Owen Sullivan about it. (who is the head of the scriptwriters of The Sea Beasteditor’s note), who’s going to direct the next one, and also to Jed Schlander (producer of the first film).”