DreamWorks Animation has announced an Orion and the Dark film set for release on Netflix in 2024. The news was announced today at the Annecy International Film Festival. 

The animated film, based on Emma Yarlett’s acclaimed picture book published by Templar Books, will be directed by Sean Charmatz (Trolls.) The script will be written by Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman and produced by Peter McCown, with executive producers Walt Dohrn and Bonnie Arnold. Jacob Tremblay will voice “Orion” and Paul Walter Hauser will voice “Dark”. 

Orion and the Dark, Emma Yarlett’s second picture book originally published by Templar Books in 2014, follows a young boy called Orion. Orion is scared of lots of things, but nothing is quite as scary as the dark. Until, one scary bedtime, he meets a new friend – Dark. Orion and Dark set off on a huge adventure that helps Orion to realise that the dark isn’t so scary after all and is actually quite fun! The book is packed with Yarlett’s beautiful, renowned illustrations, spell-binding storytelling and the loveable character of Dark is brought to life with die-cut pages. 

Emma Yarlett has also published Poppy Pickle originally in 2015 with new novelty, paper-engineered edition in 2023 as well as Sidney, Stella and the Moon in 2013 with Templar Books. 

Emma Yarlett said: “Twelve years ago, a boy called Orion and his nemesis ‘Dark’ first appeared in the pages of my sketchbook. They’ve been on quite a journey since then, but it’s been incredible to watch them take on a fresh new life with the immensely talented team at DreamWorks. I cannot wait for everyone to see the magic they’ve brought to this story.”

Helen Wicks, managing director of Children’s Trade at Bonnier Books UK, said: “Tackling universal themes of fear and unsung bravery with delicious humour, relatability and imagination, Orion and the Dark is a very special book. We could not be more excited for the team at DreamWorks to explore Emma’s dazzling world, and for audiences to join Orion and Dark on the adventure of a lifetime.”

Amelia Warren, commissioning editor of picture books for Templar, said: “We’re delighted with the announcement and upcoming film release. Emma’s storytelling taps into relatable experiences for both children and adults, and we can’t wait to see her lovable characters have a new life on the big screen.”

Rebecca Nash, licensing manager for Templar Books, added: “I am absolutely thrilled that this has finally come to fruition. DreamWorks have done an outstanding job and I know that fans of the original book will truly LOVE it!”