The feature animation adaptation of Jeff Smith’s Bone is finally picking up steam, with Warner Bros. tapping Oscar-nominated Kung Fu Panda and The Little Prince director Mark Osborne for the project. WB picked up rights to Bone in 2008 and is planning a trilogy of films.
The script will be co-written by Adam Kline and Osborne, who is also serving as executive producer alongside Mark Bauch of Lin Pictures. Dan Lin’s Lin Pictures is producing Bone with fellow The LEGO Movie alum, Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian.
“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 told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Published from 1991 to 2004 — and in recent years rediscovered by a new generation of readers thanks to Scholastic’s full-color graphic novel releases — Jeff Smith’s Bone follows the epic fantasy-adventure of three cousins: Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone. Run out of their home of Boneville, the trio are separated and lost in a vast, uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wondrous and terrifying creatures.
Bone won 11 Harvey Awards and 10 Eisner Awards, including Best Cartoonist and Best Humor Publication, and was named Best Comic Book by the National Cartoonists Society. Bone has also won awards in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Finland and Norway.
The Bone animated movie project has been its own long-running saga, first set to be produced by Nickelodeon before WB snagged the rights eight years ago. Multiple scripts have been submitted and rejected since; most recently, P.J. Hogan (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Muriel’s Wedding) was attached to direct from a script by Patrick Sean Smith (creator of ABC Family’s Greek).