The comic Canto is set to be adapted as an animated feature by Westbrook Studios. The production company, which was co-founded by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, has optioned the rights to IDW Publishing’s fantasy series.
The comic’s creators, writer David M. Booher and illustrator Drew Zucker, are both onboard. Booher is writing the screenplay and the pair are serving as executive producers. The film is produced by Jon Mone, Westbrook Studios’ co-president and head of motion pictures, and Ryan Shimazaki will oversee the project on behalf of the company.
Canto debuted in June 2019, and has so far run to two mini-series and a one-shot. Inspired by The Wizard of Oz and Dante’s Inferno, the comic tells the story of an enslaved tin character with a clock for a heart. After falling in love with a fellow tin person with a damaged clock, he embarks on a quest to find his people’s missing hearts.
Westbrook Studios launched in 2019 as part of Westbrook Inc., the parent company of the Smiths’ various business ventures. The studio has a packed slate of upcoming live-action productions, including King Richard, a film about Richard Williams (the father of Serena and Venus, not the animator), and slave thriller Emancipation, which Apple bought at last year’s Cannes in the largest film festival acquisition in history.
Westbrook Inc. also includes digital content studio Westbrook Media, which has produced tie-in social media content for films including Disney’s Will Smith-starring Aladdin remake. The Smith family has built a vast following on social media in recent years.
Deadline first reported news of the deal.