Spooky season is practically around the corner and there’s a new Halloween classic coming your way – Wendell & Wild.
The stop motion animated film is an ambitious project by filmmakers Henry Selick and Jordan Peele. Yes, the filmmaker behind stop motion classics Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas is teaming up with the horror creator extraordinaire behind Get Out and NOPE. So you already know that the expectations are high.
“Wendell & Wild started out as a short story I did many, many years ago, inspired by my sons, who are now grown,” says Selick for Polygon. “When they were little, I did a picture of them as demons. They were somewhat demonic at times. And I wrote a story about it and shared it with some people, but then I put it away.”
This film brings Peele back together with his comedic partner Keegan-Michael Key as voice actors for the titular characters. Actually, thanks to the involvement of these two comedic titans, Wendell & Wild can see the light of day.
“I was so impressed by their work,” Selick said. “I just said, ‘What the hell, I’ll reach out. They probably don’t know who I am. But I wanted to work with them’”.
Thankfully Key and Peele were interested, and Peele sealed the deal with some extra creative support.
“It seemed like a Key & Peele skit, almost, that they could be these siblings who are demons, but have very human weaknesses and desires”, stated Selick. “So I shared my pages and talked it through, and he got really excited and basically said, ‘I want to be involved creatively. I’d like to be a producer.’ He was just starting up his new company, Monkeypaw. And that’s really the genesis of the project.”
Wendell & Wild focuses on Kat Elliot (Lyric Ross), a 13-year-old teen who’s tough on the outside, but holding tons of guilt on the inside. Her world changes once she meets scheming demon brothers Wendell (Key) and Wild (Peele). The two enlist Kat to bring them into the Land of the Living, turning into a bizarre and comedic adventure.
Aside from Key, Peele, and Ross, additional voice talents come from Angela Bassett, James Hong, Ramona Young, Ving Rhames, and the feature film debut for trans actor Sam Zelaya.
This dark fantasy film is sure to be a perfect addition to your Halloween line up. Wendell & Wild premieres on Netflix on October 28, 2022.