Exclusive: Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight writer praises Rita Ora’s work on the upcoming show that continues the adventures of Po the panda.
Shaunt Nigoghossian, writer of Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight, praises Rita Ora’s work as her animated character Wandering Blade. Set to release on Netflix July 14, the series will follow the adventures of Po, an unlikely kung fu-loving panda, from the other Kung Fu Panda movies and shows with new allies and foes. Kung Fu Panda released in 2008 and went on to have two sequels and two series, making this the third series in the franchise.
Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight will continue to follow Po, being reprized by Jack Black, on a globe-trotting adventure as he teams up with Ora’s Wandering Blade to find magical weapons before their enemies and save the world. James Hong will be reprising his role as Po’s loveable adoptive father Mr. Ping, a goose who runs a noodle shop. The show will also feature Amy Hill as Pei Pei, Rahnuma Panthaky as Rukhmini, Chris Geere as Klaus Dumont, Della Saba as Veruca Dumont, and Ed Weeks as Colin.
In an interview with ScreenRant, Nigoghossian praised Ora’s work as Wandering Blade, saying she matches the vibe of the no-nonsense English bear knight. Known for her music career, Nigoghossian said Ora worked well as an actor and even got to show off her singing in the show. Nigoghossian praised her unique voice, which she stood out in casting, and seemed to be pleasantly surprised by her acting. Read his full quote:
We did our usual casting thing, where we listened to a bunch of voices. There were great actors all around, but nobody has a voice like hers. You may not know it until you really hear it with everything else, but her voice quality is totally interesting. There’s nobody like it. And we may have her de ella do a tiny bit of singing in our show and get to use those chords, which is kind of cool.
She plays the character surprisingly well. She’s a person who should not be as good at acting, but she she is her. Blade has this “Don’t mess with me, don’t talk to me,” vibe. We never have her smile from her, and she’s really rigid, to kind of play against Po. And Rita just kills it.
Dragon Knight will continue Po’s journey for eleven episodes and still be helmed by DreamWorks Animation. It’s too early to tell if Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knight will receive a second season, but the franchise has multiple ways of expanding if the new TV show is well received. Kung Fu Panda 4 has yet to be confirmed, but Netflix’s upcoming series could be the introduction to the next feature-length sequel. If fans enjoy Ora’s character as much as Nigoghossian does, it’s also possible DreamWorks could give Wandering Blade her own spinoff series. That being said, with Po being the face of the franchise, it’s possible there wouldn’t be much interest in a spinoff not featuring Black.
Although Ora is known for her singing and songwriting, she isn’t a stranger to acting. With roles in Fifty Shades of Gray, south pawand Pokemon: Detective PikachuOra has at least a few acting gigs that gave her experience for the show, although Kung Fu Panda: Dragon Knightyou will be animated and therefore only voice acting. Nigoghossian’s comments praising Ora will hopefully reflect the series as a whole and give fans more of the easy-going loveable panda paired with a refreshing voice and ally.
Next: Kung Fu Panda Cast Guide: Who Voices Which Character
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