Chris Williams, who directed Big Hero 6 and Bolt and also worked on several other Walt Disney Animation Studios films, will reportedly be leaving Disney to direct Jacob and the Sea Beast for Netflix.

  • According to Variety, Netflix will produce the animated film Jacob and the Sea Beast to be written and directed by Williams.
  • The project will also mark Williams’ first time as a solo director, having previously worked alongside Don Hall, Byron Howard, and others.
  • Partially inspired by beasts features on 16th and 17th-century nautical maps, the logline for the film says it will follow “a charming seafarer who sails into uncharted waters and discovers an unlikely ally in a sea monster.”
  • In a statement regarding the projects, Williams said, “Jacob and the Sea Beast is the kind of story I’ve always wanted to take on. It’s a tale of high adventure where our hero leaves the known world and ventures out into uncharted waters.”
  • He continued, “As it turns out, I’m doing the same thing.”
  • Speaking on his departure from Disney, Williams said he was “grateful for the opportunities provided by my former creative home,” but was “excited to leap into a new environment.”
  • The director concluded, “I feel a great energy at Netflix, as amazingly talented artists from a wide variety of backgrounds are coming together to build something new.”
  • While at Disney, Williams worked on a slew of animated projects, most recently being credited as co-executive producer and part of the Studio Creative Leadership on the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet.
  • Williams also won an Oscar for his work on Big Hero 6 alongside fellow director Don Hall and producer Roy Conli.
  • Jacob and the Sea Beast is expected to debut on Netflix in 2022.


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