According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Book of Life director George Gutierrez revealed a rich world for his upcoming Netflix animated series Maya and the Three. On Tuesday, during a press event at Netflix’s animation facility in Hollywood, Gutierrez announced that the 4-½ hour epic Maya and the Three will be aired on Netflix in the summer of 2021.
Gutierrez talked with Variety about the limited animated series’ origin and how its roots “run deep” for him. According to Variety, Gutierrez’s two main inspirations are: the need for a fearless female Mesoamerican heroine and his own fascination with fantasy. In fact, he has often referred to the character Maya as the Mexican Lord of the Rings. Gutierrez did not like the lack of lead females in Mesoamerican mythology, therefore he said “I want to have a hero who is a half-god half-human warrior princess.” Gutierrez credits the strong women in his life for that inspiration: his mother, his sister, and his wife Sandra Equihua, an accomplished animator and the character designer of the female characters in his work.
The fantasy world in Maya and the Three originated when Gutierrez was only a child in Mexico City and he used to spend his afternoons at the Museum of Natural History. According to Gutierrez, even though, this fantasy world is made of architecture, geography, and a pantheon of Mesoamerican Gods, it will be faithful to the Mesoamerican world. “It’s all fantasy, and I’m having a blast playing with the history,” he added. The series narrative will follow Maya across Mesoamerica on a journey to find three legendary warriors to help save her people. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Maya will find “a Caribbean wizard, an albino archer, and a giant barbarian from the mountains.”
According to Gutierrez, both film and T.V. have limitations that could detract from the story he wants to tell. Gutierrez explains that, with features, you are not allowed to do anything over 90 minutes, but with a limited series, you get “the best of both worlds.” Gutierrez asks his fans to have patience, since the production of Maya and the Three is going to take some time, but “we hope it’s unlike anyone has ever seen.”