The Bad Guys is an upcoming American computer-animated heist comedy film based on the Scholastic book series of the same name by Aaron Blabey, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Pierre Perifel in his feature film directorial debut and written by Etan Cohen and Hilary Winston. It is set to be released in 2022 and will be the 42nd feature film.


The film centers on several reformed yet misunderstood villains known as Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula. The five tire of a life of crime and decide to put their lives as forces of good.


In July 2017, several studios had expressed interest in adapting the series into a film.[1] In March 2018, Variety reported that DreamWorks Animation will develop a film based on the book series, with Etan Cohen as writer.[2] In October 2019, it was reported that the film will be directed by Pierre Perifel in his feature directorial debut, with Cohen and Hilary Winston set to write the film's screenplay and a release date of September 17, 2021. The film was described as having "a similar twist on the heist genre that Shrek did on fairy tales, and what Kung Fu Panda did for the kung fu genre".[3] In May 2020, the crew worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]


  • This is the first DreamWorks Animation's original full-length feature film of the 2020s.
  • DreamWorks Animation's first film of the 2020s to be produced at 1.85:1.
  • DreamWorks Animation's second film to release in September after Abominable (2019).
  • DreamWorks Animation's first original film with the 2020 MPA logo.
  • DreamWorks Animation's second film distributed by Universal Pictures to not be a sequel to an already existing film after Abominable (2019).
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