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ND Stevenson On The Process Of Adapting Nimona From Page To Screen – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

ND Stevenson On The Process Of Adapting Nimona From Page To Screen



Nimona is a film based on the graphic novel of the same name, which follows the story of Ballister Boldheart, a knight who is unfairly accused of a crime, and the shapeshifter named Nimona who sets out to help him prove his innocence. The movie features a star-studded cast, including Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, and Eugene Lee Yang, and is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane. The film will be available for streaming on Netflix starting June 30th.

ND Stevenson, the creator of Nimona and the author and illustrator of the graphic novel, spoke with Screen Rant about the film adaptation. He discussed the difference in adapting his own work versus someone else’s, as he did with She-Ra, and shared why he believes Nimona resonates with so many people. Stevenson also talked about his experience working with the incredible voice cast and how he felt when he first saw the finished version of Nimona.

Stevenson believes that Nimona resonates with people because the titular character represents something that everyone has inside of them but is unable to express. Nimona is a deeply personal character, but many people can relate to her because she expresses her inner emotions in a way that manifests physically. Stevenson also praised the film’s voice cast, saying that they were all perfect for their respective roles.

When asked about his experience watching the completed film, Stevenson expressed his excitement and satisfaction with the final product. He had seen many different versions of the movie over the years, but watching the final version made him realize that “this is a really good movie.”

Nimona is a story about a knight and a shapeshifter who set out to clear the knight’s name and wreak havoc in the process. The lines between heroes, villains, and monsters start to blur as the two of them navigate their way through a futuristic medieval world. Ultimately, Nimona is a character-driven story that explores the nature of identity and the bonds between individuals.

Nimona follows Ballister Boldheart, a knight framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and the titular shapeshifter named Nimona who sets out to help him prove his innocence. The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name, and while there were some changes made, the heart of the story remains the same.


ND Stevenson is the creator of Nimona. He is the author and illustrator, so Nimona holds a place near and dear to his heart. The film features an all-star cast, including Chloë Grace Moretz, Riz Ahmed, and Eugene Lee Yang, as is directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane. Nimona starts streaming on Netflix on June 30th.

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Related: Nimona Trailer: Troublemaking Shapeshifter Skewers Traditional Fairy Tale Stories

Screen Rant spoke with Nimona creator ND Stevenson about the difference in adapting his own work versus someone else’s, as he did with She-Ra. He also revealed why he thinks Nimona resonates with so many people, what it was like bringing on the incredible voice cast, and how he felt when he first saw the finished version of Nimona.



ND Stevenson Talks Yesterday

nimona smiling and carrying a mace

Screen Rant: I love this movie so much. Congratulations on the one hundred percent Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. What does that feel like?

ND Stevenson: Oh, my God, so good. I mean, we’ve known this is a really good movie, but to have everyone see it and agree with us is a pretty good feeling. I would say, “pretty cool.”

Screen Rant: What is the difference in adapting your own work, versus someone else’s like She-Ra?

ND Stevenson: The biggest differences when it comes from you is you have to communicate certain things about it while also being really, really close to the source material. It feels like they’re your kids, and your friends, and yourself. So there are moments where you have to do what’s right for the story, and not necessarily what reflects that really personal nature of it. It’s been really great. Being able to work with Nick and Troy and everyone else who were bringing fresh eyes to it. And I get to just enjoy the ride.

Screen Rant: What do you think it is about Nimona that resonates so much with everybody?

ND Stevenson: I think that she is something that we all have inside of us that we don’t get to express very often. That’s where I made her. When I’m having a bad day, I would love to turn into a giant fire breathing monster. But it can’t. And she can. She expresses things. She’s very true to her inner emotions, and she has this way of manifesting them physically. I thought she was really personal character, and she is, but so many people relate to her. All kinds of people. I think we all have a little Nimona in us.

Screen Rant: Can we talk about this cast? Everyone feels perfect for their characters.

ND Stevenson: Absolutely. I always love that it’s like these are also them. That’s them. They could all play these characters in live action. That’s obviously not the point, because it’s animated, but I see them in real life, and I’m just like, “it’s you. It’s you from the movie.” They are so perfect. I cannot express how perfect they are.

Screen Rant: How did you feel the first time you saw the completed film?

ND Stevenson: I’ve seen so many different versions of this movie over the years. It’s gone in so many different directions. When I watched the final movie, I was like, “Alright, this is it. This is really it. It’s done.” I was blown away. I’ve been there for the whole process. Nothing in it is a surprise, but in that moment, I was just like, “This is a really good movie.” I think I sent them an email that is just all caps saying exactly that. “This is a really good movie!” And then so many exclamation points. The exclamation points are still going.

About Nimona

Nimona drawing her own story in Nimona trailer

When Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a knight in a futuristic medieval world, is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, the only one who can help him prove his innocence is Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), a mischievous teen with a taste for mayhem — who also happens to be a shapeshifting creature Ballister has been trained to destroy. But with the entire kingdom out to get him, Nimona’s the best (or technically the only) sidekick Ballister can hope for. And as the lines between heroes, villains, and monsters start to blur, the two of them set out to wreak serious havoc — for Ballister to clear his name once and for all, and for Nimona to…just wreak serious havoc.

Check out our other Nimona interviews here:

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