HBO Max And Cartoon Network Set African Teen Superhero Series 'Iyanu: Child of Wonder'
Photo Credit: HBO Max

HBO Max And Cartoon Network Set African Teen Superhero Series 'Iyanu: Child of Wonder'

HBO Max, Cartoon Network and Lion Forge Animation have set new African teen superhero animated series, Iyanu: Child of Wonder.

It is based on the Dark Horse Comics and YouNeek Studios graphic novel series of the same. Created by Nigerian director Roye Okupe, the superhero story rooted in Nigeria’s culture, music and mythology.

Here is the official description for the upcoming series:

Heavily influenced by the history and achievements of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Iyanu: Child of Wonder is set in the magical kingdom of Yorubaland. The series follows a teenage orphan girl, Iyanu, who spends her days studying Yoruba history and ancient arts but yearns for a normal life. One day, responding to danger, she unknowingly triggers her divine powers, the likes of which have not been seen since the Age of Wonders. With newly discovered superpowers, Iyanu joins forces with two other teenagers as they embark on a remarkable journey to discover the truth about the evil lurking in her homeland. Throughout her adventure, she’ll uncover the truth about her past, her parents, and her ultimate destiny to save the world.

David Steward II’s Lion Forge Animation is financing and overseeing production with executive producers, including Erica Dupuis of Impact X Capital, Ryan Haidarian of Forefront Media Group, Doug Schwalbe and Carl Reed.

Saxton Moore (Rise Up, Sing Out), the Head of Production at Lion Forge Animation, will act as the overseeing director.



The writers' room is being led by Brandon Easton ('Marvel's Agent Carter'), with Roye Okupe serving as executive producer, writer, and director of several episodes

Saxton Moore (Rise Up, Sing Out), the Head of Production at Lion Forge Animation, will act as the overseeing director.

Amy Friedman, head of kids & family programming, Warner Bros., commented on the upcoming series, saying, “Iyanu: Child of Wonder has it all – vast world-building, authentic characters, a strong, African female hero at the center, and a first-class team of stellar creators and producers. While created for kids, the series will resonate with anyone looking for an adventure filled with surprise, magic, lore, and legend. We feel so lucky to be the home of Iyanu and partnering with this team.”

Steward II said of the announcement, “The authenticity of the Iyanu story means everything to us and aligns perfectly with our mission to create and deliver inclusive content to global audiences. A powerful means of accomplishing and sustaining this is through franchise building, and the depth and layers of the Iyanu world allow us to explore and create a beautiful universe on screen alongside tremendous partners.”

“When I set out to create Iyanu for a global audience, I wanted to develop a world that combined everything I love about the fantasy genre with the majesty and awe that is ancient West Africa,” said writer and director Roye Okupe.

“On top of that, working with Godwin Akpan, who illustrated the books, as our Art Director and collaborating with a thoughtful studio-like Lion Forge Animation that prioritizes authenticity and diversity, is beyond belief.”

Easton said, “As a former public school teacher in the Bronx and Harlem, I spent many years with Black, Latino, and Asian teens and saw what they gravitated toward. They loved anime, manga, and things along those lines, but they all lamented that none of the characters looked like them. So when I was hired to adapt Roye’s amazing Iyanu graphic novel, I wanted the story to reflect Roye’s original vision while also injecting a sense of pride and wonder for all children worldwide, but specifically for kids who rarely see themselves reflected in a positive light or at all. Iyanu has also changed the way I see myself as a creator – with the awesome responsibility to tell an unprecedented story to a global audience that showcases the humanity of African children.”

Moore added, “Iyanu will usher in a new genre of animation around the African diaspora, and Lion Forge Animation is super excited to be a part of it. We hope to empower little adventurous girls around the globe with Iyanu’s story.”