One of the comic book world's best-known series is finally coming to screens. Netflix has secured the rights to Jeff Smith's classic Bone, and intends to create an animated kids' series that covers the Bone cousins' trek through the desert. Smith touted the episodic format as "exactly the way" to adapt his work. The story unfolds "chapter by chapter and book by book," after all.
There's no mention of when the series is likely to premiere, or any talent attached to the project.
Nonetheless, this is something of a coup for Netflix and illustrates the contrast between its approach and traditional outlets. Deadline noted that Warner Bros. had tried to adapt Bone as a movie starting in 2008, but never got anywhere. It wasn't much more successful when it tapped Kung Fu Panda's Mark Osborne to head up a franchise. Netflix, however, has been more willing to take chances and more flexible in how and when it offers projects. It doesn't have to fight for airtime or theaters, and it can pick whatever format best suits a story.
As it is, Bone might fit well into Netflix's existing strategy. It's been adapting Mark Millar's comics through its Millarworld acquistion, but it's also been securing other big titles like Neil Gaiman's Sandman. This adds to its repertoire, and might reel in viewers at a time when rivals are bolstering their animated shows and kids' programming.