EXCLUSIVE: The core cast of cult classic indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite are reuniting for an animated pilot released through blockchain technology.
Jon Heder, Tina Majorino, Efren Ramirez and Jon Gries have all signed on to voice characters in Cyko KO, which is based on Rob Feldman’s Ringo Award-nominated comic book of the same name. Heder, who played a nerdy and lovable high school student title character in 2004 comedy hit Napoleon Dynamite, has been cast in the lead role as the titular Cyko KO.
The character is billed as a “fourth-wall breakin’, pinball-addicted, cereal eatin’, motorcycle-ridin’ hero.” The series will follow him, sidekick Peachy Keen and their pet Meemop, as he protects the colonies of SuperEarth from giant monsters and crazy characters “in this Saturday morning cartoon-inspired, all-ages title.”
A 12-minute pilot will launch exclusively on blockchain tech firm Replay’s Rewarded.TV web3 streaming service, using revenue from an NFT collection from Theta Labs’ ThetaDrop to fund, produce and distribute the project.
The NFTs will unlock the show and other film titles and series, with viewers of Rewarded.TV titles earning Replay’s native RPLAY tokens by watching films, series and live TV through a proprietary watch-to-earn ecosystem. Cyko KO‘s NFTs will also offer additional perks, such as the chance to meet the cast of the show or cameo in the pilot.
The drop date for the Cyko KO Star Cards NFT is 12pm PT Friday (September 30).
Creator Feldman will be showrunner through his Earworm Media operation. Rocketship Entertainment, which he founded in 2019 with Tom Akel, is co-producing alongside Replay and Verified Labs, a Web3 production studio that counts Heder among its founder members.
Feldman previously worked with Theta on Cyko Headz NFT collectibles, which were also based on the digital comics and originally spawned the Theta blockchain. He also recently produced feature Night of the Animated Dead, which starred Josh Duhamel, Katee Sackhoff, and Dulé Hill and was for Warner Bros.
“The dream has always been to bring Cyko KO to the world of animation, and to do so through bleeding edge technology,” said Feldman. “Between this incredible cast reunion and our partners at Theta, Replay, and Verified Labs, we are going to create something incredibly special for the fans who have supported Cyko and his friends for the past seven years.”
“We’re thrilled to be working with Replay and Rob on this drop,” said Kyle Laffey, Head of Partnerships at Theta Network. “Theta continues to build out our video technology and these NFTs are a perfect use case of how we can enable media and entertainment to enter Web 3. It’s only a matter of time before we see more media brands take this route and experiment with entire new business models for funding and distribution. Replay’s platform and Rob’s content are a natural pairing as early pioneers in this space.”
Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, Blades of Glory, Monster House) is represented by The Gersh Agency, Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite, Andre, When a Man Loves a Woman) by Innovative Artists and Stride Management, Efren Ramirez (Napoleon Dynamite, ER, American Dad) by A3 Artists Agency and Jon Gries (Napoleon Dynamite, Men in Black, Real Genius) by Innovative Artists.