|Directed by||Vicky Jenson|
|Music by||Alan Menken|
|Distributed by||Apple TV+|
Spellbound is an upcoming computer-animated musical fantasy film directed by Vicky Jenson from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin with music composed by Alan Menken, who wrote the songs with longtime collaborator Glenn Slater. Produced by Skydance Animation, the film features the voices of Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, and Nathan Lane. Set in the world of magic known as Lumbria, the story follows Princess Ellian (Zegler), a young girl who must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.
The project, entitled Split, was announced in July 2017, shortly after Skydance Animation was formed in March 2017, with Paramount Pictures scheduling distribution for 2019. The film subsequently underwent changes, such as release dates, with Jenson later announced as the director, and the film's title changed to The Unbreakable Spell, before eventually getting to its current title. The film was acquired by Apple TV+ in December 2020. Much of the main voice cast signed on in June 2022, following Zegler's casting in April 2022. Production was done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spellbound is set to be released on Apple TV+ in 2024.
The story is set in a world of magic known as Lumbria where a young girl, Ellian, must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.
Additionally, Tituss Burgess has been cast in an undisclosed role.
On March 16, 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based animation studio Ilion Animation Studios, forming an animation division called Skydance Animation. In July, it announced Split, and it was revealed by Skydance Media CEO David Ellison that Linda Woolverton was writing the film. It would be distributed by Paramount Pictures as part of their deal with Skydance Media and was given a release date for sometime in 2019. Following John Lasseter's hiring as CCO of Skydance Animation, then-chief of Paramount Animation Mireille Soria announced that Paramount Animation would end its informal work with Skydance.
On April 2, 2020, composer Alan Menken revealed that he was working alongside John Lasseter on a project for the studio, which was later announced to be Split, which by then was renamed to The Unbreakable Spell before it became Spellbound. The film will be directed by Vicky Jenson, from a screenplay by Lauren Hyne, Elizabeth Martin and Woolverton, with songs by Menken and longtime collaborator Glenn Slater. In July 2020, it was announced that Spellbound was still going to be released by Paramount Pictures without Paramount Animation until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to it in December 2020 as part of a larger pact with Skydance Animation. Apple Original Films would replace Paramount as a production company.
In April 2022, Rachel Zegler was cast as the lead character. In June, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis, André De Shields, and Jordan Fisher were added to the cast. In June 2023, Tituss Burgess joined the cast.
Animation has been provided by Skydance Animation Madrid with portions of production done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 16, 2017, it was reported that the original release was intended to be in 2019. On July 20, 2020, Paramount Pictures dated the film for November 11, 2022. On December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ entered talks to take over the distribution rights to the film, retaining its November 11 date. In June 2023, the film was confirmed for a 2024 release.
A work-in-progress presentation of the film was shown at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June by Jenson and head of story Brian Pimental.
On March 22, 2022, it was reported that Skydance Animation made a multi-year deal with Spin Master Entertainment to make toys based on the film.