The Bad Guys
Teaser poster
Directed byPierre Perifel
Screenplay by
Based onThe Bad Guys
by Aaron Blabey
Produced by
  • Damon Ross
  • Rebecca Huntley
Edited byJohn Venzon
Music byDaniel Pemberton[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • April 22, 2022 (2022-04-22)
CountryUnited States

The Bad Guys is an upcoming American computer-animated crime comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is directed by Pierre Perifel (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Etan Cohen and Hilary Winston, based on the children's book series of the same name by Aaron Blabey, who serves as executive producer. It stars the voices of Sam Rockwell, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Awkwafina, Richard Ayoade, Zazie Beetz, Lilly Singh, and Alex Borstein. The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States by Universal Pictures on April 22, 2022.


In a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals coexist, a gang of criminal animals known as Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, and Ms. Tarantula have made a deal to go good to avoid serving prison time, with Mr. Wolf beginning to enjoy this new lifestyle, while a new villain emerges.

Voice cast


On July 22, 2017, Australia's The Daily Telegraph reported that several studios had expressed interest in adapting the series into a film.[2] In March 2018, Variety reported that DreamWorks Animation would develop a film based on the book series, with Etan Cohen writing the screenplay.[3][4][5] The following year, in October, it was reported that the film would be directed by Pierre Perifel in his feature directorial debut, with Cohen and Hilary Winston set to co-write the film's script.[6] The film was described as having "a similar twist on the heist genre that Shrek did on fairy tales, and what Kung Fu Panda did for the kung fu genre".[6] The crew worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

On July 28, 2021, the cast was announced with Etan Cohen, the book's author Aaron Blabey and Patrick Hughes set to serve as executive producers for the film.[8] On the same day, director Pierre Perifel announced the character casting on his Instagram account.[9] On June 22, 2021, Daniel Pemberton was signed to compose the score for the film.[1]


On October 7, 2019, it was reported that the film would be theatrically released on September 17, 2021, taking over the release date of Spooky Jack.[6] In December 2020, the film was delayed with The Boss Baby: Family Business taking its original slot, though it was confirmed that it would get a new date "within the coming weeks" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10] In March 2021, the release date was scheduled to April 15, 2022.[11] In October 2021, it was pushed back again by one week to April 22.[12] The film is slated to stream in the United States on the Peacock streaming service 45 days after its theatrical release,[13] followed by its Netflix debut after Peacock's 4-month exclusive window.[14]


  1. ^ a b @DANIELPEMBERTON (June 22, 2021). "The news is now out there so this is probably a good time as any to say I've been working away for quite a while on a super fun big new animation feature from ⁦@Dreamworks and ⁦@UniversalPics:- "THE BAD GUYS" -" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Baker, Jordan (July 22, 2017). "Aaron's amazing tale picked up by Hollywood". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 9, 2018). "Etan Cohen and DreamWorks Animation Developing 'Bad Guys' Film Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  4. ^ White, James (March 11, 2018). "Writer Etan Cohen Bringing The Bad Guys To DreamWorks Animation". Empire. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Vlessing, Etan. "Etan Cohen Adapting 'The Bad Guys' Books for DreamWorks Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 7, 2019). "DreamWorks Animation & Universal To Release 'Spirit Riding Free' & 'The Bad Guys' In 2021". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  7. ^ 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. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  8. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 28, 2021). "Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina and Anthony Ramos to Star in DreamWorks Animation's 'The Bad Guys' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on August 6, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  9. ^ @pierreperifel (July 28, 2021). "The Bad Guys cast has finally been officially announced!". Retrieved July 28, 2021 – via Instagram.
  10. ^ Welk, Brian (December 28, 2020). "'The Boss Baby' Sequel Bumped to September 2021, 'The Bad Guys' Moves to 2022". TheWrap. Archived from the original on December 28, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 17, 2021). "DreamWorks Animation's 'Puss In Boots' Sequel & 'The Bad Guys' Get Release Dates At Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 20, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Grobar, Matt (October 12, 2021). "Universal Pushes Dates For DreamWorks Toon 'The Bad Guys' & George Clooney-Julia Roberts Pic 'Ticket To Paradise'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 19, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Hayes, Dade (December 9, 2021). "NBCUniversal's New Theatrical Window Scheme To Bring Films To Peacock After As Few As 45 Days Of Release". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 27, 2021. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  14. ^ Anderton, Ethan (July 13, 2021). "Netflix Will Remain The Streaming Home For Universal And DreamWorks Animated Films (After They Hit Peacock)". Slash Film. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 14, 2021.