Coming off the back of another great season of Rick & Morty, fans of the hit animated Netflix series are probably sick and tired of hearing any news from co-creator Justin Roiland that isn’t directly related to its upcoming sixth season (or even the confirmed season seven). That being said, his upcoming adult animated comedy series Koala Man for Hulu is enough to get anyone excited, especially with its addition of none other than Hugh Jackman to the voice cast.
Some may recall the “Koala Man” character from the season 2 episode of the Australian anthology comedy series Fresh Blood that aired on ABC back in 2018. Each episode of Fresh Blood was produced with the intention of being a pilot for its own series, with both Hulu and Justin Roiland clearly seeing the potential in the creation of Australian animator Michael Cusack (Smiling Friends) especially. Koala Man was ordered straight to series back in March 2021.
Koala Man actually marks a reunion for Roiland and Cusack, with the latter having written and directed the Rick & Morty April Fool’s special “Bushworld Adventures” in 2018. The pair will now work with 20th Television Animation, which is the studio behind other Hulu animated originals such as Hit-Monkey, the highly-anticipated return of Futurama, as well as Roiland’s own Solar Opposites.
The show will be set in the Wollongong suburb of Dapto in New South Wales, centred on a divorced middle-aged dad named Kevin stuck in a mundane job at the council. He snuffs out petty crimes (such as Daptonians not taking the bins out on proper days) under the “Koala Man” alias, with his only superpower being his “burning passion for following rules”.
While the role of Kevin/Koala Man is set to be played by Michael Cusack himself (along with multiple other characters), you can expect to hear the voice of Hugh Jackman behind the “Big Greg” character. Greg is Kevin’s direct supervisor as the head of the town council and is the most well-liked man in Dapto, making Kevin feel inadequate as both a provider and a man. While Jackman has experience in voicing animated roles in films such as Flushed Away, Happy Feet and Missing Link – as well as some very entertaining ADR work from his time as Wolverine – we are especially excited to see (or hear, rather) what he brings to the table here.
Filling out the rest of this cast is two-time Emmy-nominated, Adelaide-born actress Sarah Snook (Succession) and absurdist Sydney-based comedian Demi Lardner (Ditch Witch 800), who will each play Kevin’s equally frustrated wife and daughter, respectively. Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit (Detective Pikachu) will serve as showrunners.
While we are yet to have an exact premiere window for Koala Man, you can expect the eight-episode series to begin at some point in 2023. Until then, we will remain pretty bloody excited for an Australian-based animated comedy series from this incredibly talented group.