Disney Animation is currently working on its first Marvel Comic adaptation, Big Hero 6. Chris Williams, director and writer for many films including Bolt, Mulan, and The Emperor’s New Groove, will co-direct with Don Hall, who worked on Winnie the Pooh (2011). Roy Conli will produce after previously overseeing Tangled and Treasure Planet. Big Hero 6 has a planned release for November 6, 2014.
The story will follow a young boy named Hiro Hamada, Baymax the robot, and their team of do-gooders as they protect their hometown of San Fransokyo from the forces of evil. The city name, a mash-up of San Francisco and Tokyo, reflects the team’s East Asian origins (in the comics they operate out of a Japanese amusement park) while adapting the setting to something that may appeal better to Disney’s American audience. Don Hall said that the comic’s relative obscurity was a factor in its selection for adaptation since it will give the film more creative freedom than an Avengers-level property.
Big Hero 6 represents an interesting experiment for Disney and the talent placed behind this project indicates the studio’s enthusiasm. Disney’s acquisition of Marvel has granted the studio access to plenty of stories ripe for adaptation. Big Hero 6 is one of undoubtedly countless little-known properties that could be reintroduced to a wider audience. If Big Hero 6 is successful, it will open the door for many similar adaptations in the future.