Netflix kicked off their second day of Geeked Week with revealing the trailer and poster for their anticipated animated monster adventure The Sea Beast.
Directed by Academy Award-winner Chris Williams (Big Hero 6, Moana), The Sea Beast tells the story of Jacob Holland (Karl Urban), a legendary sea monster hunter whose life is turned upside down when a young girl, Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator), stows away on his ship. Together, they embark on an adventure into uncharted waters and maybe make a few beastly friends along the way. The film also stars Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens, and Kathy Burke.
After working on Big Hero 6 and Moana, which centered on characters of color, Williams knew he wanted to also have this film reflect the world today.
“We knew that was going to be important, but also an opportunity,” Williams told The Nerds of Color. “There wasn’t a specific reason why this character needs to be one ethnicity or another. We knew we wanted diversity. So, when we heard Zaris-Angel Hator (who plays Maisie), we knew [she] was the one. She’s amazing. She has such a spark to her.”
While watching the trailer, there are a wide variety of ethnicities shown in on the ship — including different skin tones. Williams credits his visual development team and acknowledged how important it was to include everyone.
“It’s a fantasy, but it feels like a period piece, but people can see themselves in the characters,” said Williams. “It’s really an opportunity to reflect everybody in our world today and it was something that our crew [the great and diverse visual development team] were really pumped about creating a cast like this.”
The Sea Beast premieres on July 8 on Netflix.