Kung Fu Panda Director to Helm Bone Comic Adaptation

Bone by Jeff Smith complete epic cover

Warner Bros. has been trying to adapt Jeff Smith's Eisner Award-winning comic Bone for years, but the studio has never managed to get the project off the ground. P.J. Hogan was attached to direct at one point from a script written by Patrick Sean Smith, but those plans fell through and both Hogan and Smith left the project.

Bone isn't dead yet, however, as a new director has signed on to the project: Mark Osborne. The director, whose credits include Kung Fu Panda and The Little Prince, will shoot from a script he's co-writing with Adam Kline.

If you're not familiar with Bone, the series told the tale of three cousins (Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone) who become scattered and lost in a desert after being run out of their hometown of Boneville. The three Bones, who are all white humanoid creatures with no hair and big noses, eventually wander into a fantastical forest filled with dangerous creatures and wondrous adventure. The series ran irregularly from 1991 to 2005, with a total of 55 issues being released before it ended. Several spinoffs and one-shot comics were published as well.

Bone comic by Jeff Smith

Speaking with THR, Osborne expressed his excitement at helping to bring Bone to life on the big screen:

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. 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."

Kline also commented on Bone, saying "As source material goes, Jeff's epic is something of a unicorn: mythic, whimsical and pure in equal measure."

Fans will likely love the thought of Osborne taking on the adaptation, especially given how much effort he put into making Kung Fu Panda and The Little Prince into the fantastic films that they were. He was nominated for two Oscars for his efforts, and given the mix of epic adventure and light-hearted whimsy that Bone features it's entirely possible he could see more nods in his future. The production company behind Bone is envisioning it as the first film in a trilogy, so there may be even more to come if the first film proves successful.

Of course, some fans might worry that the Bone animated film will skew too close to modern Hollywood adaptations like The Smurfs and will lose what makes it special in the process. Osborne and Kline both have a lot of respect for the source material, however. Osborne is producing as well as directing, too, so that should carry over into him having more creative control to keep Bone true to its origins despite Hollywood trends.

Screen Rant will have more information for you on the adaptation Bone as details are made available.

Source: THR

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