Mercury Filmworks and Goodbye Productions announced Monday that they will co-produce an animated adaptation of Peter Ricq‘s Once Our Land. The graphic novel, published by Scout Comics, tells the story of Ingrid, an 11-year-old girl in 1830s Europe forced to fend for herself in a city overrun by “fearsome beasts from another world.” Along the way, she befriends Fritz, a “grizzled, old, eye-patched warrior with an unexpectedly eccentric personality.” Together, they must rid the city of its monster infestation and reintroduce the concept of trust in a European sector long disabused of the notion.
The project is being positioned as a “fantasy/sci-fi period piece for family audiences” with screenwriter Phil Ivanusic Vallée. He previously worked with Ricq on the animated series The League of Super Evil and the live-action feature film Dead Shack. Also reuniting with the pair is producer Amber Ripley. “It’s on the strength of this dynamic creative team that we believe in the commercial appeal of the film,” she said in a statement. “We are excited to push the boundaries of the Canadian family entertainment into the exciting new frontier that is currently blossoming in our industry.”
“Once Our Land is an endearing tale of trust and friendship, family and community. It follows the old adage that it takes a village and at its core is about being united in the face of adversity. I think that’s a very powerful message to share with kids,” added Chantal Ling, Goodbye Productions’ Vice President of Original Series & Co-Productions.
As with all newly announced projects, it is unclear when Once Our Land will see release.