Mediawan’s Somewhere Animation, Marla Team on ‘Temtem’ Series Adaptation With Showrunner Josh Hamilton (EXCLUSIVE)

Temtem, the popular multiplayer creature-collection game, is set for a series adaptation with Josh Hamilton (“Avatar: The Last Airbender”) on board as showrunner.

Somewhere Animation, which is part of Mediawan Kids & Family company, and the L.A.-based banner Marla Studios have teamed up to produce a comedy-adventure series based on the game.

The Japanese-style game, often compared with Pokémon, was developed by the Spanish studio Crema and released in 2020. It’s set on the Airborne Archipelago, six colorful and diverse islands, where humans live alongside feathery creatures called Temtem.

The series, comprising 26 half-hour episodes, will follow heroes of different cultures joining forces with Temtems to win epic battles. The show’s inspirational motto is “What makes us different makes us stronger together.”

Aimed at children aged 6 and above, “Temtem” is being spearheaded by Hamilton, who notably penned the series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” which received the Kids’ Choice Award for best animated series in 2008.

Speaking to Variety on the eve of the Annecy festival, Arthur Colignon, producer and founder of Somewhere Animation, and Jean-Julien Baronnet, Marla Studios founder, said “Temtem” will “share key values with the Japanese genre, such as friendship and surpassing oneself, with loads of humor.”

Baronnet, who previously led Ubisoft’s film division and worked on Netflix’s gaming adaptation “Rabbids Invasion,” described “Temtem” as the “new generation of Pokémon,” which has seen “double-digit” growth since launching. “When Temtem came out it was instantly hugely successful. Crema was very smart in drawing their inspiration from the best elements of Pokémon and adding way more features, for instance allowing users to play with more than one avatar simultaneously,” said Baronnet, whose Marla Studios is currently developing 10 pieces of IP into scripted content.

The French producer added that the series will “balance the big, fun and epic elements of this adventure in a total new and modernized universe.”

“France is the number one consumer of Japanese content after its local market, so we’ve all been irrigated by this rich culture, including at Somewhere Animation,” said Colignon. “So when we learned that Pikachu and Sacha were saying goodbye, we started thinking about a way to pursue this path that Pokemon had opened, and that led us to meet Jean-Julien and discover Temtem.”

Colignon, who previously delivered the first YouTube animation series “Roger and His Humans” and was artistic producer of the show “Totally Spies,” pointed out “Temtem” has a “subtle aesthetic DNA with pastel colors and singular designs.” He said the show will also celebrate the “global” identity of the show, with contemporary themes to children will relate to.

The producer said a French director will be attached at a later stage and will work alongside Hamilton and an international team of artists. “If you look at Illumination’s ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie,’ its a Japanese IP financed by Americans, created by French people — that underscores a mingling of cultures that we aspire to have on ‘Temtem.’”

Unlike some other shows aimed at young children, “Temtem” will also be character-driven, Colignon said. “Humans and creatures have to work together towards the same goals, and sometimes they’ll fight and split up, but ultimately they have to form a team, and that our main theme. There are emotional and humanistic aspects to our series that didn’t exist in Pokemon,” Colignon continued. The show will also explore “our relations with animals and takes into account their consciousness and emotions.”

Mediawan Kids & Family also has a bullish track record in adapting franchises. The group is behind the biggest series hits based on new and iconic brands, from “The Little Prince,” “Robin Hood – Mischief in Sherwood” to “Miraculous -Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir” (co-produced with ZAG).

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