Koala Man Trailer: A New Everyman Hero To Love In An All-New Version Of Wacky Australia

Never fear, "Koala Man" is here, mate. "Smiling Friends" and "YOLO: Crystal Fantasy" creator Michael Cusack's new Hulu comedy has its very first trailer, and it looks like the show's protagonist is going to be one of my favorite superheroes ever. What can I say? I love an underdog.

In the sneak peek, we're introduced to Kevin, a normal everyday Australian man who takes on the persona of Koala Man at night to rid the streets of his town of crime. The catch is that, of course, he's just a regular dude with no powers, so he doesn't exactly get very far with his own two fists — at first, anyway. Things do seemingly go off the rails at some points in the season, as the trailer shows us many funny bits including a few homages to the George Miller film "Mad Max: Fury Road," an understandable pride point of Australian pride.

According to the showrunners of the series, having the show set in a "surrealist version" of Australia that is based in Cusack's art style allowed for them to dig deep into the specificities that made Australian culture so unique, which is something American audiences have rarely seen in animation. Benji Samit explained in an interview with /Film's own Rafael Motamayor:

"Any time one of the Australian writers shared a unique thing about Australia, we could be like, 'Oh, that's an episode.' Whereas if an American shares something, oftentimes it's, "Oh wait, did 'The Simpsons' do something like that? Oh, 'Family Guy' did that. Oh, 'South Park' already did that." But with all the unique Australian things, no show has ever done it before. So we really quickly were able to piece together an entire season of these unique, specific things."

Koala Man as a normal man

One of the most interesting aspects of this upcoming series is that the main character is basically an anti-Bruce Wayne Bruce Wayne. He's not rich, but doesn't have any powers — similarly to Batman when he's off the clock — so he has to make do with his own smarts and intellect, not to mention his capacity for compassion. Showrunner Dan Hernandez explained in /Film's interview that change was crucial for building a superhero story that was different from what we've seen in the space thus far:

"We had a real genuine desire to tell an amazing superhero story within the parameters of this guy who's concerned about how long the grass is and what day the bins go out for garbage day. It was a real tonal challenge to say, 'Can we take this guy who doesn't have powers, whose only superpower seems to be that he cares more about the rules than anyone else, and thrust him up against monsters and aliens and things that are completely supernatural or out of this world?' And his attitude toward them is sort of the same as if he were trimming the grass, that it's all just a problem to be dealt with."

It's clear that this series will follow in the footsteps of Cusack's other shows while holding back from some of his most wild concepts, the likes of which are on full display in "Smiling Friends" and "YOLO." "Koala Man" just seems more tailor-fit for a wide audience, especially with actors like Hugh Jackman in the cast, but knowing Cusack's comedy, the series will still hit just as hard. 

The show stars Michael Cusack, Hugh Jackman, Sarah Snook, Demi Lardner, and Jemaine Clement. It will arrive on Hulu on January 9, 2023.