Directed byVicky Jenson
Screenplay by
Produced by
Music byAlan Menken[1]
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • 2024 (2024)

Spellbound is an upcoming animated musical fantasy film directed by Vicky Jenson from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and the writing team of Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin. It features music composed by Alan Menken, who also wrote the songs with longtime collaborator and lyricist Glenn Slater.[1] 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,[2] before eventually getting to its current title. The film was acquired by Apple TV+ in December 2020, before Netflix took over the rights in October 2023. 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 scheduled for release in 2024 on Netflix.[3]


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.[4]

Voice cast

Additionally, Tituss Burgess has been cast in an undisclosed role.[5]



In March 2017, Skydance Media formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based animation studio Ilion Animation Studios, forming an animation division called Skydance Animation.[6] In July, it announced Split, and it was revealed by Skydance Media CEO David Ellison that Linda Woolverton was writing the film.[7][8] 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.[9]

In April 2020, composer Alan Menken announced that he was working alongside John Lasseter on a project for the studio,[10] which was renamed to The Unbreakable Spell before it became Spellbound.[1] The film will be directed by Vicky Jenson, from a screenplay by Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin and Woolverton, with songs by Menken and longtime collaborator Glenn Slater.[4] In July 2020, it was announced that Spellbound was still going to be released by Paramount Pictures without Paramount Animation[11] until Apple TV+ acquired the distribution rights to it in December 2020 as part of a larger pact with Skydance Animation.[12] Apple Original Films would replace Paramount as a production company. However, in October 2023, Skydance Animation ended its deal with Apple, and later signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, which would take over distribution of the studio's future films in production, including Spellbound.[13]


In April 2022, Rachel Zegler was cast as the lead character.[14] In June, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis, André De Shields, and Jordan Fisher were added to the cast.[15] In June 2023, Tituss Burgess joined the cast.[5]


Animation has been provided by Skydance Animation Madrid with portions of production done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.[16]


In March 2017, it was reported that the original release was intended to be in 2019.[7] On July 20, 2020, Paramount Pictures dated the film for November 11, 2022.[11] On December 16, 2020, Apple TV+ entered talks to take over the distribution rights to the film, retaining its November 11 date.[17][18] In June 2023, the film was confirmed for a 2024 release.[5] That October, Netflix took over the film's distribution rights from Apple, as part of a new multi-year deal with Skydance Animation, while retaining its 2024 release.[13]

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.[19]


In March 2022, it was reported that Skydance Animation made a multi-year deal with Spin Master Entertainment to make toys based on the film.[20]


  1. ^ a b c Giranda, Carolyn (May 20, 2020). "Alan Menken to Compose Original Songs and Score for Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  2. ^ "John Lasseter's Second Act". The Hollywood Reporter. July 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Released (Exclusive)". GVS-Entertainment. June 12, 2023. Retrieved June 13, 2023.
  4. ^ a b McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Giardina, Carolyn (June 12, 2023). "Tituss Burgess Joins Voice Cast of Apple and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'; New Image Revealed (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 13, 2023.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (March 16, 2017). "David Ellison's Skydance Launching Animation Division With Spain's Ilion". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 16, 2017). "Skydance Launches Animation Studio With Spain-Based Ilion". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  8. ^ Busch, Anita (July 31, 2017). "Skydance's Steps Big Into Animation: 'Split' And 'Luck' Coming From Top Notch Ani Filmmakers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 14, 2019). "Paramount Animation Chief Says Her Team Won't Be Working With John Lasseter at Skydance". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  10. ^ Young Artists of America (April 2, 2020). Talk Back with Alan Menken. Retrieved July 21, 2020 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ a b McNary, Dave (July 20, 2020). "Skydance Animation's 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' Scheduled for 2022 Release". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  12. ^ "Apple Makes Big Animation Commitment with New Skydance Animation Deal". Collider. February 17, 2021. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 18, 2023). "Netflix Sets Skydance Animation In Multi-Year Deal, First Up Is Alan Menken Musical 'Spellbound;' Rachel Zegler, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  14. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 1, 2022). "Rachel Zegler to Voice Lead of Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation's 'Spellbound'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  15. ^ Grobar, Matt (June 21, 2022). "Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Nathan Lane, Jenifer Lewis & More Board Animated Pic Spellbound From Apple & Skydance Animation". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 21, 2022.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 8, 2020). "How Animated Pics Like 'Tom & Jerry', 'SpongeBob Movie', 'Sing 2', Skydance's 'Luck' & More Are Working Through The COVID-19 Crisis". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Donnelly, Matt; Lang, Brent (December 16, 2020). "Skydance Animation in Talks to Move 'Luck,' 'Spellbound' to Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  18. ^ Donnelly, Matt (February 17, 2021). "Apple and Skydance Animation Formally Announce Multi-Year Partnership". Variety. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  19. ^ Goodfellow, Melanie (June 13, 2023). "Vicky Jenson Teases 'Spellbound' Songs Reuniting 'I See The Light' Duo Alan Menken & Glen Slater – Annecy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 19, 2023.
  20. ^ "Skydance Animation Sets Licensing Pact with 'PAW Patrol' Creator Spin Master, Kicking off with Apple Original Film 'Spellbound'". March 22, 2022.