TRESE, a crime/horror graphic novel about a detective of the same name who solves supernatural crimes often in connection with creatures from Philippine mythology, will be getting its own Netflix treatment as the streaming giant announced that it will be adapting the novel into an animated series. But it will take a while before it gets on the small screen.
“We are extremely excited that TRESE will be adapted into an animated series by Netflix! To be able to share our stories and love of Philippine myth and folklore to the world is a dream come true! Even more thrilled that Jay Oliva is going to be our director since he’s worked on a lot of our favorite animated movies!” Budjette Tan, who wrote the graphic novel series, told BusinessWorld in an interview by Facebook Messenger on Nov. 9.
TRESE — which is written by Mr. Tan and drawn by Kajo Baldissimo — is set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld comprised of malevolent supernatural beings.
The announcement was made during Netflix’ See What’s Next Asia conference on Nov. 8 and 9 in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
TRESE is one of five new animated series to be produced by Netflix from the region. Among the new animated projects are the animated adaptation of the Netflix Original show Altered Carbon and an animated spin-off of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
The Filipino graphic novel’s anime treatment will be produced by Jay Oliva, a Filipino-American storyboard artist and animated film director for DreamWorks Animation, and Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson of BASE Entertainment, a studio based in Jakarta and Singapore.
“BASE Entertainment was the one that worked very hard to pitch and convince Netflix to pick up TRESE and we are very happy that the people at Netflix were impressed with the work, enough to give us the green light to make it into an animated series,” Mr. Tan said.
Although the announcement that the TRESE animated series was going to be made, Robert Roy, VP for content acquisition, clarified in a separate press conference a day later that Netflix is still working on the series as they are “not going to rush it,” to make sure that they give justice to the source material.
“I don’t think it’s going to be in 2019,” Mr. Roy said of TRESE’s premiere.
“We’ll get to meet up with Jay Oliva and the rest of the team soon. So, we’ll definitely talk about how to best adapt TRESE into an animated series! And it’s good to know that Netflix has also put a lot of trust in the creators and the creative team to deliver their best work. They believe in getting to do the right thing instead of getting it ‘right now’ and we agree with that as well,” Mr. Tan said. — Zsarlene B. Chua