If there’s one sport that has been under-served in pop culture, it’s roller derby. There’s Rollerball, Whip It, Kansas City Bomber, Unholy Rollers, and that’s about it. But HBO Max will be bringing attention to the brutal skating sport by turning the roller derby graphic novel series Slam! into an animated series from WarnerMedia’s Rooster Teeth Studios.
Deadline has news on the Slam! roller derby animated series in the works at HBO Max. Pamela Ribon, who co-created the comic with Veronica Fish, will be scripting the series with Rooster Teeth Studios, BOOM! Studios, and Minnow Mountain producing. If, like me, this is the first time you’re hearing of Slam!, here’s the official synopsis from Amazon:
In the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, two young women will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line.
When life starts coming at you like a freight train, you have two options: run away screaming or lean into the hit.
From the first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, Jennifer and Maisie knew they’d be fast friends. But when they’re drafted to different teams, the pull of competition — and their increasingly messy personal lives — threaten to drive them apart. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, a better lover, and a better friend. Derby can heal your heart…but it might break a bone or two in the process.
Slam! will be turned into a half-hour animated series that will use a combination of rotoscoped and 3D animation from Craig Staggs and Steph Swope‘s Minnow Mountain in Texas, the same company who did the unique animation on Amazon’s mind-bending series Undone.
Ribon brings a fantastic combination of experience to make this project promising. Not only did she co-write Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet for Disney, but she also skated with the L.A. Derby Dolls roller derby team for several years. She also brings network TV experience to the table as a writer on ABC’s Samantha Who?, so with her passion and experience combined, Slam! is bound to be something special. In a statement, Ribon said:
“I’m so fortunate to have the coolest, talented-est, Austin-est animation studios in the world partnering to bring Slam! to life as a television series. Billy Wee and the team at HBO Max geeked out just as hard as we did when talking about where this could go in storytelling and animation. That’s when we knew we’d found the perfect home. We’re so excited to make this rough and tumble, emotional, honest show about what it means to surrender your life, and your knees, to roller derby.”
There’s no indication as to how soon the series will go into production or when it will arrive on HBO Max, but we’ll keep our ear to the ground for more details.
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