IDW Entertainment (IDWE) and IDW Publishing (IDWP) have announced that Jeff Brustrom, Daniel Kendrick, and Erika Turner have been handpicked to build the company’s concentrated initiative within the Kids, Family and YA division. Brustrom joins IDWE as the newly appointed Vice President of Kids, Family and Animation where he will oversee the development and production of a growing slate of live-action and animated projects (drama and comedy) based on graphic novels, prose and other source material. Kendrick, the new Director of Animation, will oversee development and production of animated series. Turner has been named Senior Editor of Original Content, IDWP, where she will focus on the development and acquisition of original IP, primarily in the categories of kids, middle grade and young adult.
Previously, Brustrom spent 17 years working for the Disney Channel where he developed the series that launched the careers of A-list icons such as Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Zendaya and The Jonas Brothers. Most recently, Brustrom was an independent consultant, advising international animation studios, production companies and content creators on IP development.
Kendrick was most recently at Chatrone, a Los Angeles based production company, where he represented artists and creators, and oversaw animation projects from initial concept to production, post-production and release.
Before joining the IDW team, Turner served as the Senior Editor at Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and prior to that, she held the Editorial Project Manager position within the same company where she focused on the development and acquisition of owned IP primarily in the category of kids, middle grade and YA.
Young Justice fans who couldn’t wait for season four were more than just “whelmed” at DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse on Saturday, September 12, by not only the show’s panel with the cast and producers, but also a special table read of a brand-new Young Justice episode performed by the series voice cast — and the reveal of the title to the new season.
During the Young Justice panel, executive producers Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti exclusively confirmed the official title for the highly anticipated fourth season as Young Justice: Phantoms. Prior to this announcement, select members of the voice cast — including Jason Spisak, Khary Payton, Stephanie Lemelin, Nolan North, Denise Boutte, Danica McKellar and Crispin Freeman — teamed up for a virtual table read of a special original episode titled Young Justice: FanDome. Season 3.9. Episode 1. “The Prize.” Written by Weisman, the script provided an early glimpse into the new season by setting up events that eventually play out further in Young Justice: Phantoms.
Based on characters from DC, Young Justice: Phantoms is executive produced by Weisman and Vietti along with Sam Register (Teen Titans GO!). Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the first three seasons of Young Justice are available on DC UNIVERSE.
Though the comic’s details are hush hush, Stray Dogs by Tony Fleecs and Trish Forstner has been grabbed by Paramount Animation.
The horror comic is getting a script by Mark Perez with Gary Dauberman‘s Coin Operated producing.
Perez has written such films as Herbie Fully Loaded, Accepted, and Game Night among others. Gary Dauberman is a horror vet having directed Annabelle Comes Home and was the executive producer on the recent Swamp Thing television series.
Fleecs and Forstner have worked together previously on IDW Publishing’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic series.
Stray Dogs will be released in 2021 by Image Comics and is described as “Silence of the Lambs meets Lady and the Tramp.”
Expect the news to boost orders when they finally go live based on the news of a film in the works.
Five fascinating tales from the iconic DC canon, including the first interactive film presentation in Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) history, come to animated life in DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the anthology of 2019-2020 animated shorts arrives from WBHE on Blu-ray and Digital starting October 13, 2020.
Anchoring the compilation of shorts is Batman: Death in the Family, WBHE’s first-ever venture into interactive storytelling that allows fans to choose where the story goes through an innovative navigation guided by the viewer’s remote control. Central to the extended-length short is an adaptation of “Batman: A Death in the Family,” the 1988 landmark DC event where fans voted by telephone to determine the story’s ending.
Inspired by characters and stories from DC’s robust portfolio, the 2019-2020 series of shorts – which have been individually included on DC Universe Movies releases since Summer 2019 – include:
The Phantom Stranger
DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family will be available on Blu-ray (USA $24.98 SRP) and Digital (19.99 SRP). The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with all of the shorts in hi-definition, including the fully-interactive, extended-length Batman: Death in the Family, plus a digital version of the four other 2019-2020 DC Showcase shorts. The Digital distribution features the Batman: Death in the Family extended-length short in a non-interactive format (pre-assembled version of the story, entitled Under the Red Hood: Reloaded), along with the other four 2019-2020 DC Showcase shorts, and three other non-interactive versions of the Batman: Death in the Family (entitled Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge, and Red Hood’s Reckoning) as bonus features (Note: not all Digital retailers offer bonus features with purchase). The Blu-ray also offers approximately five minutes of additional content within the Batman: Death in the Family story that is not included in the Digital version.
Produced, directed and written by Brandon Vietti, Batman:Death in the Family offers an inventive take on the long-demanded story. In the new animated presentation, the infamous murder of Batman protégé Jason Todd will be undone, and the destinies of Batman, Robin and The Joker will play out in shocking new ways as viewers make multiple choices to control the story. And while Batman: Under the Red Hood provides a baseline, the story also branches in new directions and features several characters previously unseen in the original film. Bruce Greenwood (The Resident, Star Trek, iRobot), Vincent Martella (Phineas and Ferb) and John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) reprise their Batman: Under The Red Hood roles of Batman, young Jason Todd and The Joker, respectively. Other featured voices are Zehra Fazal (Young Justice) as Talia al Ghul and Gary Cole (Veep) as Two-Face and James Gordon.
The interactive Blu-ray presentation offers many different ways for viewers to tell the Batman: Death in the Family story, with numerous twists and turns in the middle, and several possible endings. The choices along the way put greater weight on the viewers’ decisions and result in even stronger stories. Viewers can also choose to allow the story to tell itself, as there is an option to let the Blu-ray decide its own path.
Packed with Easter Eggs, the centerpiece short’s story – with its foundation grounded in the original “Batman: A Death in the Family” comic run, and the acclaimed Batman: Under the Red Hood animated film – balances a number of integral themes within its entertainment, including fatherhood, mental health, death, rebirth, revenge and redemption. Along the route, viewers encounter new, surprising looks at some classic DC characters.
Beyond Batman: Death in the Family, the additional four shorts on Blu-ray & Digital are:
Originally attached to Batman: Hush, Sgt. Rock is executive produced and directed by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) from a script by award-winning comics writers Louise Simonson & Walter Simonson and Tim Sheridan (Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Reign of the Supermen). The original tale finds battle-weary Sgt. Rock thinking he has seen everything that World War II can dish out. But he is in for the surprise of his life when he is assigned to lead a company consisting of legendary monsters into battle against an unstoppable platoon of Nazi zombies. Karl Urban (Star Trek & Lord of the Rings film franchises) provides the voice of Sgt. Rock. Also voicing characters in Sgt. Rock are Keith Ferguson, William Salyers and Audrey Wasilewski.
Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” Death is produced & directed by Sam Liu (Superman: Red Son, The Death of Superman) and written by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood). In the story, Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons, meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy … and eventual death. Leonard Nam (Westworld) provides the voice of Vincent, and Jamie Chung (The Gifted, Big Hero 6) is the voice of Death. The cast includes Darin De Paul, Keith Szarabajka and Kari Wahlgren. Death was originally included with Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.
Attached as a bonus feature on the release of Superman: Red Son, The Phantom Stranger has Bruce Timm (Batman: The Killing Joke) at the helm as executive producer & director, and the short is written by Ernie Altbacker (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Batman: Hush). Set in the 1970s, the short find the enigmatic DC mystery man simultaneously playing both omniscient narrator and active character in a story of supernatural comeuppance for evil doers. Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) gives voice to The Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Impastor) provides the voice of Seth. The Phantom Stranger also features the voices of Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.
Adam Strange is produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Superman: Man of Tomorrow), who also conceived the original story – which is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, Constantine: City of Demons). The short was initially attached to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. On a rugged asteroid mining colony, few of the toiling workers are aware that their town drunk was ever anything but an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a fissure into the home of a horde of deadly alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long. Charlie Weber (How To Get Away with Murder) provides the voice of Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase and Fred Tatasciore.
All five new DC Showcase shorts credits include Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) as co-producer and Amy McKenna (Wonder Woman: Bloodlines) as producer. Sam Register is executive producer.
Initially launched in 2010, DC Showcase was originally comprised of four animated shorts produced by Bruce Timm and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos: The Spectre (released on 2/23/2010), Jonah Hex (7/27/2010), Green Arrow (9/28/2010) and Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (11/9/2010). An additional short, Catwoman (10/18/2011), was attached the following year to the release of Batman: Year One, and was directed by Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) and executive produced by Bruce Timm. Screenwriters on the initial quintet were Steve Niles (The Spectre), Joe Lansdale (Jonah Hex), Greg Weisman (Green Arrow), Michael Jelenic (Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam) and Paul Dini (Catwoman).
“Interactive storytelling offers an entirely new dimension of entertainment for DC animated movie fans, and an exciting look into potential titles for the future,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family Marketing. “Brandon Vietti has crafted a uniquely involving, multi-tiered approach to captivating the audience with both popular story devices and some very unexpected plot twists.”
DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family Special Features – Blu-ray
Audio Commentaries – Commentary tracks on Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Death and The Phantom Stranger, plus one of the linear “Death in the Family” shorts (Under the Red Hood: Reloaded), by DC Daily hosts Amy Dallen and Hector Navarro.
DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family Special Features – Digital
Three non-interactive versions of the Batman: Death in the Family – entitled Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge and Red Hood’s Reckoning. (Note: not all Digital retailers offer bonus features with purchase).
DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.
Mirka Andolfo has announced her debut animated project, Sweet Paprika. Based on a series of sketches shared initially on social media, Sweet Paprika follows the erotic misadventures of a career-driven woman—Paprika—who reluctantly engages a charming, if immature, delivery boy named Dill. Though Andolfo has only hinted at this story through her drawings, her fanbase has quickly embraced the mismatched devil-and-angel couple, requesting sketch commissions and even cosplaying as the pair at major conventions.
Andolfo is partnering with the Italian media company Arancia Studio and CEO Davide G.G. Caci to develop the animated project, which has been optioned by Alessandro Regaldo at Grey Ladder Productions. Andolfo describes Sweet Paprika as an urban fairy tale for adults, carrying the coming-of-age themes of The Devil Wears Prada mixed with the progressive, feminist romance of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Sex and the City.
Gabriele Pennacchioli, who received a Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Supervising Director on Netflix’s Love Death + Robots, will serve as Executive Producer. Pennacchioli has 25 years of experience in animated features, working on such films as Shark Tale, Shrek the Third, Kung Fu Panda, and How To Train Your Dragon, among others. Tommaso Triolo, of the Italian comedy troupe The Jackal, will write the script based on Andolfo’s story.
Sweet Paprika takes place in a world similar to ours, but inhabited by characters with the appearance of angels and devils. Protagonist Paprika is a New Yorker of Italian origin, working endless hours as a Chief Creative Officer at a publisher in the center of the thriving metropolis. Far from a traditional princess, Paprika’s job and career drive consume her, forcing her to neglect her personal needs, as well as her relationships with friends and family.
Enter Dill—a naïve and suave delivery boy whose “angelic” attitude grates against Paprika’s no-nonsense practicality. This odd-couple prince and princess embark on an unexpected courtship that both tests their temperaments, as well as embraces the themes of female empowerment and sexual empowerment.
Stan Sakai‘s long-running Usagi Yojimbo is getting animated! The comic character is coming to Netflix in a new animated series that mixes “modern high-tech images with classic Japanese references” called Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles.
Usagi Yojimbo launched in 1984 and has published over 215 issues, plus guest appearances in other series through a mix of publishers.
James Wan will be one of the executive producers of the CGI series which follows the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, a descendent of the warrior Miyamoto Usagi. Yuichi leads a “ragtag team of misfit heroes,” a bounty hunters, ninja, pickpocket, and pet lizard.
This isn’t the first time Sakai’s characters have become animated. Usagi appeared in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show as well as on the 2003 series for a few episodes and then again in season 3, season 4, and season 7, of the same series. Uasgi also appeared in the 2012 CGI TMNT series in the fifth season. A CGI adaptation of Usagi was initially announced on February 8, 2018 and was in the works by Gaumont Animation.
Sakai will also be an executive producer on the show along with Gaumont, Dark Horse Entertainment and Atomic Monster. Gaumont’s Nicolas Atlan, Terry Kalagian, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee also serve as EPs along with Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg and Chris Tongue and Atomic Monster’s Wan, Michael Clear and Rob Hackett.
Candie and Doug Langdale also are attached as showrunners and executive producers.
Lucasfilm has announced that Star Wars: The Bad Batch is coming to Disney+ in 2021. The series spins out of the series finale for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch as they find their way through the galaxy after the Clone War. Each member of the Bad Batch has a singular exceptional skill which makes them a formidable crew. They’ll take on daring mercenary missions as they find their purpose in this new era.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch is executive produced by Dave Filoni (The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Athena Portillo (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels), Brad Rau (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars Resistance) and Jennifer Corbett (Star Wars Resistance, NCIS) with Carrie Beck (The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels) as co-executive producer and Josh Rimes as producer (Star Wars Resistance). Rau is also serving as supervising director with Corbett as head writer.
Netflix, Hasbro, and Rooster Teeth, have released the final main trailer for Chapter One of the highly anticipated Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy, premiering on Netflix July 30, 2020. The Series raises the stakes of the Autobot and Decepticon war with Chapter One having six, twenty-two minute episodes, complete with a new animation look and style that presents the Transformers bots like you’ve never seen them before. The Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy plunges us deep into events that live at the heart of this legendary franchise, with SIEGE shining a spotlight on a critical timeframe in Transformers history on Cybertron.
Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Siege begins in the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.
Rooster Teeth (RWBY, gen:LOCK) is producing the original series for Netflix, and Polygon Pictures (Godzilla, Knights of Sidonia) is serving as the animation studio. Transformers veteran F.J. DeSanto (Transformers: Titans Return, Transformers: Power of the Primes) is serving as showrunner on the series with several contributing writers, including George Krstic (Megas XLR), Gavin Hignight (Transformers: Cyberverse), and Brandon Easton (Agent Carter, Transformers: Rescue Bots).
The Series voice talent cast includes Jake Foushee (Optimus Prime), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Linsay Rousseau (Elita-1), Joe Zieja (Bumblebee), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Rafael Goldstein (Ratchet), Keith Silverstein (Jetfire), Todd Haberkorn (Shockwave, Red Alert), Edward Bosco (Ultra Magnus, Soundwave), Bill Rogers (Wheeljack), Sophia Isabella (Arcee), Brook Chalmers (Impactor), Shawn Hawkins (Mirage), Kaiser Johnson (Ironhide), Miles Luna (Teletraan I, Cliffjumper) and Mark Whitten (Sideswipe, Skywarp).
Hamish Steele‘s graphic novel series DeadEndia is being adapted into an animated series for Netflix. Blink Industries studio in London is producing the series which is set to premiere in 2021.
DeadEndia follows Barney, Norma, and a magical-talking-dog named Pugsley as they battle supernature forces that dwell within a haunted house at the local theme park they work at.
The graphic novel has been praised for its diversity including Barney who’s a transgender teenager and Norma who’s non-neurotypical.
Zach Barack will voice Barney (“Spider-Man: Far from Home”), with Kody Kavitha as Norma (“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), Emily Osment as Courtney (“Almost Family,” “The Kominsky Method”), Alex Brightman as Pugsley (“Beetlejuice The Musical”), Clinton Leupp a.k.a. Miss Coco Peru as Pauline Phoenix (“Will & Grace”), Kenny Tran as Logs (“Maybe Happy Ending”), and Kathreen Khavari as Badyah (“Insecure,” “Big Little Lies”).
DeadEndia‘s first graphic novel was released in 2018 from Nowbrow and you can get book 1 and book 2 now.
Warner Archive Collection continues its tradition of distributing Warner Bros. Animation’s robust library of DC-based productions with the release of Legion of Superheroes: The Complete Series on Blu-ray starting July 14, 2020. Pre-orders are now available via wbshop.com and your favorite online retailer.
Presented in full 16×9 widescreen across three Blu-ray discs, Legion of Superheroes: The Complete Seriesincludes all 26 episodes of the popular show, which aired on The CW from 2006-2008, as well as a pair of bonus features: the involving featurette “We Are Legion”; and an Exclusive Audio Commentary on the series’ heralded two-part finale, “Dark Victory, Parts One and Two,” with producer James Tucker, director Brandon Vietti and the voice of Saturn Girl, Kari Wahlgren (Rick and Morty, DC Super Hero Girls, Supergirl).
Also now available for pre-order is Legion ofSuperheroes: The Complete Second Season on DVD.
One thousand years from now, the legendary Man of Steel inspires a group of emerging young heroes from the 31st century to band together and defend the newly formed United Planets. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. In Season One, Legionnaires Bouncing Boy (Michael Cornacchia), Brainiac 5 (Adam Wylie), Saturn Girl (Kari Wahlgren) and Lightning Lad (Andy Milder) travel back in time to convince an awkward teen named Clark Kent (Yuri Lowenthal) to join their Legion of Superheroes and battle their archnemeses, the Fatal Five. The insecure teen is, in turn, inspired by his new friends and, with their help, begins his journey to become the galaxy’s greatest hero. Catching up two years later, Season Two presents Superman and the Legion with an even greater challenge: Kell-El, the Superman of the 41st century!