Zoe Saldana’s Cinestar Sets Sci-Fi Anime Series at Crunchyroll

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Crunchyroll is developing “Dark Star Squadron,” a space-opera anime series, in partnership with Zoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures production shingle.

Crunchyroll also announced that it now has more than 5 million paying subscribers and more than 120 million registered users worldwide. AT&T’s $1.2 billion deal to sell Crunchyroll to Sony Pictures — which owns Crunchyroll competitor Funimation — is pending regulatory clearance.

“Dark Star Squadron,” which will stream exclusively on the Crunchyroll service, follows the journey of four failing cadets who return from a joyride with a stolen starship to find their academy in ruins and everyone vanished. Now on their own, the ill-equipped heroes set off for the far side of the galaxy to find their missing comrades — and prove their worth.

Todd Ludy (“Voltron: Legendary Defender”) is on board to write with sisters Zoe Saldana, Cisely Saldana and Mariel Saldana of Cinestar serving as executive producers. Sonia A. Gambaro and Maytal Gilboa from Pollinate Entertainment are also producing.

”As true animation and anime fans ourselves, we are so excited for the opportunity to partner with Crunchyroll to bring ‘Dark Star Squadron’ to a wide audience,” Zoe, Cisely and Mariel Saldana in a joint statement. “We can’t wait for everyone to meet the crew and follow the journey of our unlikely heroes.”

Crunchyroll general manager Joanne Waage commented, “Zoe and her team are bringing their own anime fandom to their storytelling, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

Crunchyroll’s streaming service offers an anime lineup of more than 1,000 titles and 30,000 episodes in more than 200 countries and territories. The company’s business also includes events, games, consumer products, content distribution, content creation and manga publishing. Founded in 2006, Crunchyroll had become part of WarnerMedia after AT&T bought out Chernin Group’s majority stake in Otter in 2018.

Cinestar Pictures, co-founded by the Saldana sisters, says it’s committed to “honest portrayals” of women and accurate representations of American society.