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'Hair Love''s Matthew Cherry To Direct 'Tut' For Sony Pictures Animation


Matthew A Cherry has had quite the meteoric rise in the animation industry. The one-time American Football star's second act kicked up a gear when he ran a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign to get his dream animated short Hair Love made. The film caught the attention of Sony Pictures Animation who picked up the distribution rights and screened it in US cinemas before Angry Birds 2 and took it all the way to victory as Best Animated Short at the 2020 Oscars. This, in turn, lead to the TV series spin-off Young Love that Cherry is developing for HBO Max. Now Cherry's relationship with Sony is set to continue as he is set to make his debut animated feature for the studio.

Sony Pictures Animation has recently come to distinguish themselves with a different strategy from any other animation studio in Hollywood. Innovative films like Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse and Connected look unlike anything their contemporaries are putting out, and with R-rated projects also in the works (including one from Genndy Tartakovsky) they seem to have left the days of The Emoji Movie long behind.

The studio's strategy also involves bringing in fresh talent and allowing a more diverse range of storytellers the chance to get to share their stories. Cherry has already more than proven himself with the excellent Hair Love winning hearts all over the world. He also has a lot of experience in directing, with his live-action credits including commercials, more than 20 music videos, episodes of TV series including Black-Ish and the upcoming Saved By The Bell revival and two features. An animated feature seems like the next natural step.

Tut is a coming-of-age story based on the life of the Ancient Egyptian Pharoh Tutankhamun.  Rather than a conventional historical biopic though, Tut is said to be Afro-Futuristic take on the story that will celebrate the culture of Ancient Egypt.  The film comes from an idea by Cherry and Hair Love producer Monica A Young.

SPA president Kristine Bilson says:

[Matthew Cherry is ] one of today’s most exceptional creative voices. We had the privilege of collaborating with him on his first animated short, which has since evolved into his first animated series — and we’re so proud to team up again on his first animated feature, ‘Tut.’ Matthew has a bold and modern take on this story rarely told, filled with magic, music, and powerful themes — and we’re thrilled that we get to go on this adventure together.

Sounds intriguing! It's obviously very early days for this project, so it could be a while before we see anything from it, but we'll definitely be keeping an eye (of Horus) out.