Five years ago, I came across a gorgeous-looking graphic novel called Yohancé, written by Paul Louise-Julie. The story was inspired by films like Star Wars, and follows a thief who’s hunting after a mysterious artifact, only to discover a vast, interstellar war.
Now, Louise-Julie is turning Yohancé into a film, and the first trailer for the project looks stunning.
The animated film shows off incredible images: spaceships flying over futuristic cities, some hand-to-hand action sequences, and some amazing-looking African-inspired costumes and design.
A couple of years ago, Louise-Julie launched an Indiegogo campaign for the film project, and raised more than $13,000 for the project. The goal, he wrote at the time, was to produce a 2-hour film that he’d direct. Since its success, he’s been working in the project, and debuted the trailer at Dragon Con.
In a blog post on his site from earlier this year, Louise-Julie says that the trailer was the first big step in the project. He’ll be submitting it to a film festival in 2021, in the hopes that the project will attract additional financing and a distributor to take the film into theaters.
Speaking to me five years ago, Louise-Julie said that he had always wanted to do a space opera, and that after some racist reactions to John Boyega’s casting in Star Wars, he realized that he had the opportunity to tell a story that was original and inspired by ancient Africa. Speaking with CBR more recently, he explained that he simply “didn’t see any characters like me in space fantasy comics or books,” and that he “wanted change that, but not just make a token character. I needed to build an entire universe that made people of color relevant. Naturally, creating a universe that was aesthetically inspired by African culture made sense.”
The finished product is still a ways off: Louise-Julie says that it’ll likely be winter 2021 or summer 2022 that it’ll be ready.