WB Creating Special Feature Film Animation Think Tank
Sure, we're probably/possibly getting a Justice League movie in 2015 but a lot of fans have clamored for an animated Pixar-esque take on their favorite DC Comics super heroes. Warner Bros. may have just taken its first step towards that reality.
Warner Bros. is setting up a special animation consortium for feature films. This news broke three days ago but we've been inundated with breaking news following the Christmas break and I simply haven't been able to carve out the necessary time to write this up. Most media outlets have moved on past the initial announcement but I think this might turn out to be very exciting for comic book movie enthusiasts, fans of DC Comics in particular. Your first thought may be, 'what, they didn't already have one?' While Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano and the growing crop of Timm proteges are overseeing Warner Bros. DC Comics adaptations for direct-to-video, they're doing something different than creating feature films for the big screen. Think Pixar, Dreamworks Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios, that's the level of animation excellence the new consortium is striving for, which consists of John Requa (Bad Santa), Glenn Ficarra (Bad Santa), Phil Lord (Lego: The Piece of Resistance), Chris Miller (Lego: The Piece of Resistance), Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Jared Stern (The Watch).
The goal is to release one, high-end animation feature per year. “Warner Bros. has an extraordinary legacy in the world of animation, including some of the most enduring characters in cinema history,” said Warner Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. “Looking to the future, we have now gathered some of the best and brightest talents in the industry to help us grow and broaden that legacy. Drawing upon their imaginations and inspiration, the studio will produce a slate of new and original animated films that are sure to delight audiences of all ages.”
The question now is whether we'll see animated films based on established Warner Bros. properties or if it will be original characters and stories. Robinov's statement above mentions having some of the most enduring characters in cinema history (Batman, right?) but then goes on to say they'll produce new and original animated films. Smart money, would be for WB to lead off with an established film franchise with a built-in audience like Batman, Superman or Harry Potter and then try something original. After Mask of the Phantasm, I'd love to see Timm get another crack at a true, animated feature film.
*Above concept art by Danny Araya.
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