The Witch Boy, the first novel in Los Angeles-based graphic novelist Molly Knox Ostertag’s three-part The Witch Boy series, will be adapted into an animated musical film of the same name by Netflix. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated director Minkyu Lee with screenplay by Maria Melnik, is currently in production, Netflix announced on Thursday.
The music for The Witch Boy is composed by American pop-rock band Haim. The film is produced by Roy Lee, Miri Yoon, and Ryan Harris under the Vertigo Entertainment banner.
First published in 2017, The Witch Boy is Ostertag’s debut middle-grade graphic novel and was followed by the sequel, The Hidden Witch in 2018 and The Midwinter Witch in 2019. The Witch Boy won the Best Mainstream Comic Prism Award and the Cybils Award (annual awards given out by children’s and young-adult books bloggers) in 2018.
The synopsis of Netflix’s adaptation of the graphic novel reads, “In a secret, magical community where girls are born to be witches and boys grow into shapeshifters, Aster is surprised to discover his emerging and extraordinary witch powers. When a mysterious danger threatens his world, Aster must embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind himself, his powers, and everything that is magical.”
Speaking about the project, director Minkyu Lee, said in a statement that his dream is to create “an animated film that pushes the medium forward both in content and form”. “My hope is that this film, by celebrating queerness & ‘otherness,’ will come to audiences around the world as something truly special,” he said.
Minkyu Lee was nominated for the Oscars in 2012 for his animated short film Adam and Dog. He has worked in the visual development department for several popular animated feature films including Frozen (2013), Big Hero 6 (2014) and Moana (2016).
“Everything I’ve seen promises this is going to be a unique, incredible movie – I feel incredibly humbled and can’t wait to see it,” Ostertag tweeted on Thursday. Her next book, The Girl From The Sea, will come out June 1, 2021.
Netflix has not yet announced the official release date of The Witch Boy.