Words by: Michelle Dartez
Idris and Sabrina Elba’s production companies and Crunchyroll recently announced that they will be teaming up to develop an animated fantasy series titled Dantai, a working title at the moment. The production is a combined effort including Idris’ Green Door Pictures and Sabrina’s Pink Towel Pictures. This will be the first time the married couple will be working together on a production project together. They will both serve as executive producers.
Crunchyroll is an American distributor, publisher, and licensing company focused on streaming anime and other related content. It was recently reported that the streaming service has surpassed four million subscribers. They were sold to Sony’s streaming service, Funimation, in a $1.2 billion deal. Crunchyroll also has 100 million registered users and more than 50 million social media followers.
Dantai is being described as a “dark fantasy” and an “Afro-futuristic science fiction series.” The series will be set in a city where the rise of biotechnology has created an “ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots,” according to the official logline. “Two rising stars from either side of this divide are pitted against each other in a story that will ultimately explore equality and kinship within a corrupt society.”
This is not the first time that a collaboration like this has happened in the anime streaming world. Michael B. Jordan and his production company, the Outlier Society, developed an anime for Rooster Teeth called gen:LOCK. Rooster Teeth is another streaming service that offers gaming, comedy, and animated content. While Season 1 debuted on the platform, HBO Max will be picking it up for a second season.
It’s so great to see more collaborations like this. Within the Anime, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi world, there isn’t much African American representation. There is also a large community of black fans and creatives who can contribute so much to this space. Many black celebrities are fans of this genre, so it’s exciting to see some of them working on making sure that we are represented more.
In a joint statement, the Elbas said, “We’re excited to be announcing this deal on our first anime. We’re both fans of the genre and see a huge opportunity to create something unique for a powerhouse like Crunchyroll. The story of Dantai is our first collaboration as producers together and is one that is close to our hearts.”