EXCLUSIVE: King Features Syndicate has launched development on a new animated feature inspired by the interactive children’s comic strip, Slylock Fox — having renewed its representation agreement for the property, previously known as Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids.
The film in development will follow the Sherlock-Holmes-esque detective Slylock Fox and his devoted sidekick, Max Mouse, as they match wits against a cast of eccentric villains. Evan Daugherty — writer of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent and Snow White and the Huntsman — is on board to write and produce, with the design and animation studio Chromosphere having come aboard for art direction. King Features’ President C.J. Kettler will serve as the project’s executive producer.
Created by Bob Weber Jr. and published by King Features Syndicate, the Slylock comic strip has since 1987 allowed kids to follow Slylock Fox, Mad Mouse and other friendly characters, teaching young readers about interesting topics and encouraging them to use facts, logic, attention to visual detail, lateral thinking and other cognitive thinking skills to solve fun, puzzling mysteries.
Slylock Fox is one of several properties King Features is currently developing for television and film, as it looks to both adapt its comic strip IP for today’s culture and build out the portfolio of properties it represents outside of the core comic strip arena. The company most recently debuted its adaptation of the popular video game Cuphead, which made its streaming debut this February on Netflix as The Cuphead Show! and dropped a new batch of episodes in August.
“Young readers around the world look forward to solving the fun, interactive brainteasers in Slylock Fox every day and we are thrilled to bring these iconic characters to life on the big screen,” said Kettler. “Evan Daugherty and Chromosphere Studios both do incredible work and with this partnership we will be able to create an engaging and meaningful story that captures the true spirit of the comic’s mysterious adventures.”
“It has been a true joy creating Slylock Fox over the years to bring readers of the comic pages something fun and different with interactive activities centered around core education themes,” added Weber. “We look forward to the next Slylock Fox project and know that King Features, along with Chromosphere and Evan Daugherty, will create an exciting, animated adaptation that is sure to captivate our current fans and also reach a whole new audience.”
A producer and distributor of well-known intellectual properties, as well as a leader in classic character licensing and franchise development, King Features’ portfolio includes such world-renowned pop culture brands as Popeye, Cuphead, Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Hägar the Horrible, Moomin, Prince Valiant and Mandrake the Magician. As content syndication specialists, the company distributes beloved comics such as Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Mutts and dozens of others as well as columns, editorial cartoons and puzzles across multiple platforms and content providers around the globe. King Features is part of Hearst Newspapers, which publishes 24 dailies and 52 weeklies, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Times Union (Albany, New York), also operating local digital marketing services and directories.
Daugherty is repped by Verve, manager Jake Wagner and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.