Here be dragons: FOX is developing an adult animated drama adaptation of author Naomi Novik's fantasy novel His Majesty's Dragon. Deadline Hollywood reports the Family Guy and Simpsons network is pushing into animated drama as well as the animated sitcom with the fantasy series, which joins an animated adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's Rats of NIMH books in the works at FOX. The His Majesty's Dragon series has received a script commitment from FOX Corporation's FOX Entertainment, behind The Great North and HouseBroken, and FOX's Bob's Burgers producers Bento Box Entertainment.
"On those will probably use a few scripts and visual development and animation tests. We're going to try to really push the type of animation that we're known for visually with some of the animated drama development that is starting to come into focus," FOX Entertainment president Michael Thorn told Deadline of the FOX-owned animated series Rats of NIMH and His Majesty's Dragon. "My hope is, within the next year, we'll be ordering one of those."
FOX Entertainment is developing His Majesty's Dragon with MGM's Orion Television (the '80s RoboCop animated series, Paramount+'s live-action Teen Wolf: The Movie). Ben Queen, creator of NBC's A to Z and the live-action NBC/DC Comics comedy series Powerless, is writing and executive producing Dragon.
Queen's credits include Disney-Pixar's Cars 2 and Cars 3, as well as MGM animated movie The Addams Family 2. His Majesty's Dragon is the first in Novik's Temeraire series, which includes the books Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents, Crucible of Gold, Blood of Tyrants, and League of Dragons.
Publishers Weekly describes His Majesty's Dragon: "In this delightful first novel, the opening salvo of a trilogy, Novik seamlessly blends fantasy into the history of the Napoleonic wars. Here be dragons, beasts that can speak and reason, bred for strength and speed and used for aerial support in battle. Each nation has its own breeds, but none are so jealously guarded as the mysterious dragons of China.
"Veteran Capt. Will Laurence of the British Navy is therefore taken aback after his crew captures an egg from a French ship and it hatches a Chinese dragon, which Laurence names Temeraire. When Temeraire bonds with the captain, the two leave the navy to sign on with His Majesty's sadly understaffed Aerial Corps, which takes on the French in sprawling, detailed battles that Novik renders with admirable attention to 19th-century military tactics. Though the dragons they encounter are often more fully fleshed-out than the stereotypical human characters, the author's palpable love for her subject and a story rich with international, interpersonal and internal struggles more than compensate."1comments