Big Hero 6 provided Disney with a surprise smash when it yielded a staggering $657.8 million draw from the global box office. One of Marvel’s lesser-known properties, it featured a team of Asian-American heroes protecting the futuristic metropolis of San Fransokyo (the blending of Japanese and U.S. culture was central both to the film itself and its lucrative overseas appeal) from the menace of villainous robotics professor Robert Callaghan. Young viewers found an icon to love in the cuddly-yet-tough automaton of Baymax voiced by 30 Rock‘s Scott Adsit, and as the voice of team leader Hiro, young Ryan Potter gave Asian children a hero they could see themselves in. When Hollywood hits that sweet spot between quality and profitability, they never fail to extend whatever works to its logical conclusion.
And in the instance of Big Hero 6, that logical conclusion has taken the form of a TV series on Disney XD. Deadline announced today that 2017 will see the premiere of a show, also titled Big Hero 6, that continues the adventures of Hiro, Baymax, Honey Lemon, Wasabi, Fred, and Go-Go. Deadline’s item indicates that the show will balance Hiro’s struggle to acclimate at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology as a pint-size prodigy with villain-of-the-week techno-heroics.
What the item does not make clear, however, is whether the original talent will return to reprise their roles on this new show. T.J. Miller, Damon Wayans Jr. and the rest of the original cast keep plenty busy, and it has yet to be seen whether they can carve out time in their schedules to lend their vocal cords to the program. Furthermore, it looks like writers Jordan Roberts, Dan Gerson, and Robert Baird will not return for the series, ceding their responsibilities to Kim Possible creators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, who will executive-produce the series. If children’s televised programming must continue cannibalizing whatever works on the silver screen, then they could certainly draw from worse places.