League of Legends is officially stepping into the world of television. The series Arcane was announced at the League of Legends 10th Anniversary Celebrations, but sat in waiting, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But a trailer is finally here after debuting at TUDUM for eager fans to feast their eyes upon, available below!
Arcane is set in the past, in the utopian region of Piltover and the lower class underground Zaun. The series advertises that it will tell the origin stories of several iconic characters in the League of Legends universe; but judging from the trailer it seems like the central story will focus on sisters Vi and Jinx, including the events that will either tear them apart or bring them together.
The series is directed by Ash Brannon, who’s directing credits include 2007’s Surf’s Up. The sisters Vi and Jinx will be played by Hailee Steinfeld and Ella Purnell. Steinfeld’s past credits include Mattie Ross in 2010’s True Grit along with voicing Gwen Stacy in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Purnell’s past credits include Kate Ward in Army of the Dead and Dolce in Kick-Ass 2. Other characters from the League of Legends games that were confirmed to appear in Arcane include Jayce (Kevin Alejandro), Caitlyn (Katie Leung), Silco (Jason Spisak) and Viktor (Harry Lloyd).
The gorgeous animation of the series is being handled by Fortiche Production in Paris, France. The studio was founded in 2009 and uses elements of both 2D and 3D style animation. Fortiche has a long history with Riot Games (the studio behind the popular League of Legends franchise) and has produced some of League of Legends‘ most iconic character and event trailers. A notable example is the cinematic introduction of Jinx, one of the stars of the upcoming Arcane, seen below.
Fortiche also produced the visuals for the music video “POP/STARS” by Riot’s own virtual K-Pop ensemble KD/A. The video has been watched more than 450 million times on Youtube. Fortiche utilized keyframe animation done completely by hand in producing the video.
Along with Riot, Fortiche also has produced visuals for music videos such as Imagine Dragons’ “Warriors” as well as Freak Kitchen’s “Freak of the Week”. In 2012, the studio teamed up with Gorillaz to produce a music video for their song “DoYaThing” during the virtual band’s collaboration with Converse. Fortiche also produced the animation for the Disney XD series Rocket & Groot, the studio’s very first TV series.
League of Legends is among the most popular online video games of all time, with more than 100 million active users logging on monthly. With an audience that large, a television show based on the characters is sure to bring in massive viewership. When it came to the intended audience; Greg Street, head of creative development at Riot, had this to say about the show in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s not a light-hearted show,” says Greg Street, head of creative development at Riot. “There are some serious themes that we explore there, so we wouldn’t want kids tuning in and expecting something that it’s not.”
This title was one of many to be covered at Netflix’s virtual event TUDUM. Considering the themes that were hinted at in the trailer, this doesn’t seem very surprising. And knowing the violence and visuals of the game it’s based on, parents will want to be sure to keep young eyes pointed elsewhere despite the animated, colorful visuals.Arcane will consist of nine episodes and will be distributed evenly across three acts. The first act will be coming to Netflix in November 6, consisting of three episodes.