In a world where animation is at an all-time success and K-Pop (Korean Pop) is producing some of the most successful artists in the music industry, it’s no surprise that sooner or later these two genres would come together! Sony Animation has announced K-Pop: Demon Hunters is currently in development. This film follows a world-renowned K-Pop girl group as they balance their lives in the spotlight with their secret identities as badass demon hunters.
The team behind this film looks like it’s going to be made up of animation veterans who have worked with animation giants such as Disney and Dreamworks. Producing this film will be Aron Warner, the producer of the Shrek franchise and The Book of Life. Plus, in the production design departments we will see Mingjue Helen Chen (who worked on design for Big Hero 6, Paperman, Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Raya and the Last Dragon) and we will also see Ami Thompson as art director, who has also worked on Raya and the Last Dragon and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Danya Jimenez and Hannah McMechan will helm the scriptwriting. Maggie Kang (storyboard artist for Rise of the Guardians) and Chris Appelhans (who previously worked on Monster House character design, Coraline illustration and Fantastic Mr Fox design) will be the directors. Sony stated in a tweet that the story is a homage to Director Maggie Kang’s Korean Roots and her die-hard love of K-Pop.
“Having been a fan of the genre since its beginnings in the ’90s, this film is my love letter to K-Pop and my Korean roots. It encompasses and celebrates everything K-Pop is – it’s the film I would want to see as a lifelong fan and I hope the millions of K-Pop fans out there in the world will feel the same,” Kang said in a statement.
We see this key art with the three main characters standing on a stage ready to perform, whilst carrying weapons also ready to fight the ginormous monster (or monsters!) up above the stadium. Like many K-Pop artists, these characters are dressed extravagantly with fun colours in their design, such as their hair, and from the looks of it this animation may take a turn back to classic 2D animation that we don’t tend to see from Hollywood anymore.
“[I] always wanted to do a film about the power of music – to unite, bring joy, build community. K-Pop is the greatest embodiment of this in our lifetime, and we’re really excited to honor and showcase that through the lens of animation,” Appelhans revealed.
This film could look to become a new modern classic and an instant hit, with the bonus of animation being done by Sony, who in 2019 took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. K-Pop: Demon Hunters could benefit from a similar style, with fluid fight sequences and over the top colours and unique character designs.
Plus, K-Pop is a worldwide sensational genre of music, becoming widespread in the ‘Korean Wave’ of entertainment with fans all over the world. Could we end up seeing homages paid towards new artists who have paved the way for the genre, like BTS and Blackpink, or could we see more traditional styles of K-Pop from Maggie Kang and her own favourites as inspiration?
Either way, I think a lot of us will be eagerly awaiting for this show-stopping debut