Studio Wildcard has partnered with acclaimed director Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) to executive produce and co-showrun an original animated television series based on the hit video game ARK: Survival Evolved. Created and executive produced by the game’s creators Jeremy Stieglitz and Jesse Rapczak, ARK: The Animated Series is composed of 14 half-hour episodes and has two seasons currently in production in anticipation of a 2022 launch.
The news was announced during Thursday night’s The Game Awards, with details confirmed by Wildcard Friday afternoon.
“Being able to mix together fantastic characters from throughout human history is one of the unique joys of telling stories within the ARK universe,” said Stieglitz. “But more than that, this series is a deeply personal narrative about love and grief, and the ways in which those two most-powerful emotions manifest in different people. Plus, of course, taming and riding dinosaurs!”
Rapczak added, “With ARK, we’ve always looked for new ways to tell the story. The animated series brings together some of the most talented directors, actors and animators out there to finally depict on-screen this franchise’s epic narrative.”
Lead writers Marguerite Bennett and Kendall Deacon Davis have written the scripts for ARK: The Animated Series, which features an extraordinary voice cast, including Gerard Butler (300), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Devery Jacobs (American Gods), Madeleine Madden (The Wheel of Time), Deborah Mailman (Total Control), Zahn McClarnon (Doctor Sleep), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Elliot Page (The Umbrella Academy), Ragga Ragnars (Vikings), David Tennant (Good Omens), Karl Urban (The Boys), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) and Russell Crowe (Gladiator).
Studio Wildcard also announced that Vin Diesel has joined the company as President of Creative Convergence and will act as executive producer of both ARK II and ARK: The Animated Series. Diesel will also lend his voice talents as Santiago, a fully-rendered hero protagonist, who will cross over from the newly announced video game sequel to the animated television series.
From cutting-edge animation studio Lex + Otis and with music composed by Gareth Coker (Ori and the Will of the Wisps), ARK: The Animated Series chronicles the story of a mysterious primeval land populated by dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, where people from throughout human history have been resurrected. When 21st century Australian paleontologist Helena Walker awakes on the ARK after tragedy, she must learn to survive and find new allies, or die again at the hands of ruthless warlords — all while trying to uncover the true nature of their strange new world.
Voice talent and character descriptions (in alphabetical order):
- Gerard Butler plays General Gaius Marcellus Nerva, a brutal ancient Roman despot.
- Devery Jacobs plays Alasie, a peppy 17th century Inuit teenager, now finding her place on the ARK.
- Cissy Jones plays The Gladiatrix, a formidable commander in Nerva’s army.
- Madeleine Madden plays 21st century Australian paleontologist Helena Walker, newly awoken on the ARK.
- Deborah Mailman plays Deborah Walker, a 21st century Aboriginal Australian activist, and mother to Helena Walker.
- Zahn McClarnon plays Thunder Comes Charging, a 19th century Lakota warrior who leads a thriving community on the ARK.
- Malcolm McDowell plays Senator Lucius Cassius Virilis, a manipulative aristocrat during the reign of Caesar Augustus.
- Juliet Mills plays Chava, a wise healer and village councilmember.
- Elliot Page plays Victoria Walker, an idealistic humanitarian aid worker and wife of Helena Walker.
- Ragga Ragnars plays Queen Sigrid, a bellicose 10th century Viking warlord.
- David Tennant plays Sir Edmund Rockwell, an egocentric 19th century scientist harboring dark ambitions.
- Alan Tudyk plays The Captain, a crusty buccaneer who profitably sails the dangerous waters around the ARK.
- Karl Urban plays Bob, a recent square-jawed ARK arrival.
- Jeffrey Wright plays Henry Townsend, an 18th century American watchmaker and Patriot spy.
- Michelle Yeoh plays Meiyin Li, a 3rd century Chinese rebel leader, known on the ARK by her reputation as the formidable “Beast Queen.”
- Ron Yuan plays Han Li, a 3rd century Chinese rebel leader and brother to Meiyin.
- With Russell Crowe playing Kor the Prophet, an eccentric ‘dino-whisperer’ hailing from a time before recorded history.
- And Vin Diesel playing 24th century ‘Mek’-pilot, gearhead, & freedom-fighter Santiago.
In June 2015, ARK: Survival Evolved launched onto Steam’s Early Access program and since that time has amassed more than 35 million players worldwide across all gaming platforms, spurning spin-off games and gathering a huge following of passionate fans. Now in development, ARK II for next-gen platforms that will debut alongside the animated television series in 2022.
ARK: The Animated Series is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).