Despite a strong presence on network and cable TV in the realm of live action productions, Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment seem to have fewer options when it comes to animated fare. Ever since the end of the “Kid’s WB” network in 2007-2008 (after roughly a decade of existence), the only network that seemed to be the home for any DC Comics based cartoons has been Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, getting cartoons to last on Cartoon Network has proven to be a Herculean task recently. Not even the latest Batman cartoon, “Beware the Batman”, could last a full season on the network now with only “Teen Titans GO!” having safely survived over two seasons. In the wake of this, it is little surprise that Warner Brothers is looking into options for the latest animated project being produced by longtime animation figure Bruce Timm, especially after the short run of the last TV show he helped helm, “Green Lantern: the Animated Series”.
As announced by Variety two days ago and i09 yesterday, Warner Brothers has cut a deal with the online entertainment network Machinima to grant them exclusive rights to the latest Bruce Timm produced DC animated production. It will be a three part mini series called “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” and will debut in spring 2015. The mini series is intended to embellish and help promote another one of the DC universe animated direct to video features, “Justice League: Gods & Monsters” which will debut “later in 2015”. Although Bruce Timm stepped down as DC universe animation supervisor after the release of the animated “Batman: the Dark Knight Returns” feature in 2013, he’s still remained involved in DC animated projects. He has since worked on both animated shorts celebrating the 75th anniversaries of Superman and Batman.
“Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” will “revolve around a newly conceived reality in the DC universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes that people know”. If there is anything that DC Entertainment has been about since 2011, it’s been in making “darker versions” of their well known superhero characters as an overreaction to being considered “cheesy” by the masses. No cast lists or plot synopsis about this series are known.
Machinima founded in 2000 and is one of the prominent channels on YouTube, bragging of anywhere between 175 million and 2 billion hits per month for their content. Their company was impressive enough that earlier in the year, Warner Brothers made a reported eighteen million dollar investment within the company. Given the rise of Internet based entertainment as well as how many of their animation fans interact with each other online, a partnership with a major online channel could prove fruitful. Bruce Timm was a longtime figure within TV animation before he would go onto co-develop and co-produce “Batman: the Animated Series in 1992 which forever changed the landscape of TV animation. He would later go on to work on “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” from 2001-2006. The last Justice League related project which Timm had a direct production credit in was 2010’s direct to video animated feature, “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths”. One can imagine both the “Gods & Monsters” mini series and feature will be packaged together on video in late 2015 or early 2016 – just in time for “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”.