Originally published in 1991, Jeff Smith's "Bone" has become something of a comic book classic, and it seems the popular series is finally headed to the big screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is developing an animated "Bone" adaptation with "Kung Fu Panda" director Mark Osborne at the helm.
"Bone" follows three cousins -- FoWarne Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone -- who are run out of their hometown of Boneville and find themselves in a mysterious and magical valley. Even though the Bone cousins look like cartoon characters, Boneville is not all that different from our world. The valley, though, is more like something out of "Lord of the Rings," full of dragons and lost princesses and bawdy taverns. The cousins are scattered and bring their unique sensibilities to the people of the valley, who are waging a war with the Rat Creatures.
Adam Kline will co-write the film with Osborne, while Dan Lin’s Lin Pictures produces with Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian. Osborne will also executive produce. WB hopes to make a franchise out of the property, with the goal of developing "Bone" into a trilogy.
“'Bone' is very special and unconventional because it blends elements together that you don’t necessarily expect -- soft, little comic characters and epic high stakes fantasy adventure," Osborne explained. "To carry this into the cinematic realm presents both an opportunity to represent what readers of all ages have loved about the series, while pushing animated storytelling into exciting and different areas."
"As source material goes, Jeff's epic is something of a unicorn; mythic, whimsical and pure in equal measure," added Kline.
This is not the first time "Bone" has been eyed as a potential movie, but this is the most momentum the project has gotten since being picked up by Warner Bros. in 2008. Osborne has been nominated for an Oscar twice, once for his 1999 animated short "More" and in 2008 for the first "Kung Fu Panda" movie. More recently, he was the creative force behind "The Little Prince," an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's seminal novel, which was done as a French language stop-motion animated feature and was released in the U.S. by Netflix.
Past adaptations of "Bone" have stalled because of creator Jeff Smith's reluctance to allow changes to the source material, but Osborne has proved himself to be a director with a keen visual eye who can faithfully adopt material with a similar tone.