WB Animation Explored Making A KINGDOM COME Movie But Changed Course Following The DCEU Reboot

WB Animation Explored Making A KINGDOM COME Movie But Changed Course Following The DCEU Reboot WB Animation Explored Making A KINGDOM COME Movie But Changed Course Following The DCEU Reboot

James Gunn's new DC Studios and the overall length of Kingdom Come are preventing Warner Bros. Animation from moving forward with plans for an animated film.

By MarkJulian - Aug 04, 2023 07:08 AM EST
Filed Under: Justice League
Source: toonado.com

Fans of DC Comics have long yearned for an animated version of Mark Waid and Alex Ross' 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come. And it appears that they were on the verge of realizing their goal until Warner Bros. chose to end Zack Snyder's DCEU and James Gunn's DC Studios arose from the ashes.

When Jim Krieg, the producer of Justice League: Warworld, was asked by ScreenRant why there hasn't been an animated Kingdom Come movie yet, he gave an evasive answer. "Well, we'll put it in the hopper.

However, Warworld executive producer Butch Lukic's answer was a little more surprising. "We originally talked about Kingdom Come after this, but changing regimes, we couldn't go forward with anything like that."

He went on to add, "They might incorporate it in the future with the New World, but that was one that we talked about as an obvious possibility to continue...I think adapting graphic novels, there's too much in there. Whereas if you just take two of the miniseries stuff, you can make a better story."

It seems that the unknown future of the live-action DC adaptation side of the studio and the belief that they would need to cut too many storylines from the four-issue miniseries is what kept the producing team from moving forward with an animated Kingdom Come movie.

In November 2022, newly appointed CEO of DC Studios James Gunn tweeted out a picture from Kingdom Come, sparking fan speculation that Gunn has his own plans for the beloved graphic novel.

Kingdom Come is a futuristic Elseworlds tale set in DC Universe, 20 years after the events of DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this alternate future, the world has become a more dangerous place, and superheroes have become increasingly powerful and violent. Superman, who has retired from the Justice League and watching over Metropolis, ultimately comes out of seclusion to lead a mixture of old-timers and second-generation heroes against the new generation of violent and reckless superheroes.

In the past, DC Animated Universe veteran Bruce Timm went in-depth to explain why Kingdom Come is difficult to adapt.

"The one that we hear all the time is Kingdom Come and I have to, like, crush everyone's dream every single time because it's just not within the scope of what we can do with these movies. The main thing that people remember from Kingdom Come, beyond the story, is the look. It was Alex Ross, breaking big, doing "photorealistic superheroes", so if we did an animated version of Kingdom Come it would not look like that. We don't have the money, there isn't enough money on the planet to make it look like that, so there's really no reason to do it. Automatically, they would be disappointed, that'd be the number one thing on amazon and amazon reviews would be "one star – doesn't look like Alex Ross."

However, these comments were made back in 2017 and perhaps there's been enough technological breakthroughs with AI to produce something similar to Alex Ross' style. 

There have also been several two-part DC animated films in recent memory, so that would also be another option for Kingdom Come, as a way to ensure all the essential storylines make it into a potential film.

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Godzilla2000Zer - 8/4/2023, 7:55 AM
Would've been better to make this while Kevin Conroy was alive with the rest of the DCAU cast but as much as I trust James I don't really want the majority of animated stuff being set in one universe.
WEAPONXOXOXO - 8/4/2023, 7:56 AM
@Godzilla2000Zer - I miss Kevin.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 7:57 AM
@Godzilla2000Zer - DC elseworlds baby. Simple as that.

Maybe marvel should start having those too, because the MCU is starting to be a mess.
Godzilla2000Zer - 8/4/2023, 8:03 AM
@Usernametaken - I'm aware just what I was saying is I don't really want the majority the animated projects to be set in the DCU which is what it's souding like nor the video games. Yeah I pretty much tapped out of Marvel last year however I did enjoy Guardians 3.
Godzilla2000Zer - 8/4/2023, 8:03 AM
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 8:29 AM
@Godzilla2000Zer - agreed
ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 11:07 AM
@Usernametaken - Having Elseworlds movies is one of the defining factors of what made DC such a mess in the first place.

Stop telling Feige to fail as bad as DC. Like you say, it's been a bit of a mess recently, we don't need it to be a DC-level mess.
One of the big reasons Marvel has been failing recently is because they're taking notes out of DC's playbook. That's how we get a movie like Eternals, torn between a visionary director and the needs of the studio. Or the multiverse nonsense. The lack of direction. The lack of explanation for new superpowered characters. The rewrites and reshoots midway through production.

Marvel, please if you're reading this, be less like DC.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 11:42 AM
@ObserverIO - "Having Elseworlds movies is one of the defining factors of what made DC such a mess in the first place."
Since MoS and the start of the DCEU, Joker and The Batman have been the only 2 movies not fitted into the DCEU and it's 2 of their biggest successes.

So I don't know what you're talking about.

As for the rest, Marvel's failings, like DC's failings with DCEU, are their own.

I get that you would prefer that everything is perfectly tied together like the MCU was before endgame, but it's not working anymore, for the reasons you pointed out, but also because they're trying to make too much content at the same time.

So either they make less and refocus, or they just start making separate universes and tell different kinds of stories.

Because it looks more and more like the movies are stuck with the bad decisions from the TV shows, and I don't see that having anything to do with DC or the elseworld idea.
ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 11:49 AM
@Usernametaken - Before Joker, Aquaman made a billion.

After The Batman, every DC movie has flopped.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 12:04 PM
@ObserverIO - You think The Batman is responsible for Black Adam, Shazam and Flash failing at the box office?

That's just grasping at straws, if those movies were good, they would have at least not flop.

Shazam 2 : The first shazam wasn't that great, fans liked it, but outside of that people didn't care much for it, 2nd one was shit.

Black Adam : Nobody asked or wanted a black adam movie, the character wasn't that popular to begin with and the movie was shit.

The Flash: the general public doesn't care enough about a character that just runs very fast, the general public doesn't like the multiverse idea, nobody liked The Flash in Justice League, nobody likes Ezra Miller as the flash. The movie was shit.

ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 12:15 PM
@Usernametaken - Aquaman was shit. You overestimate the importance of quality.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 1:30 PM
@ObserverIO - Aquaman was a total fluke, I can't explain that movie's success. People liked it, critics liked it. I didn't like anything about it.
ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 2:16 PM
@Usernametaken - Nobody understands how that movie made any money. The critics were threatened, if I remember correctly. They wrote a letter to every critic on RT telling them not to be unkind.

Maybe RT really is just that influential. That's probably why WB bought them in the end.

If I ever meet a powerful mystical Oracle, the question of "How on earth did Aquaman make a billion dollars" will probably be high on my list of questions I'd wanna ask her.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 2:59 PM
@ObserverIO - Jason Momoa could have been a cool Aquaman though. It's too bad, but I can't disagree with you.

My retina still hurt at how ugly the aesthetics of that movie was, power ranger costumes, bad green screen and over saturated everything, all that to the service of boring action and bad dialogues.

I haven't read any aquaman comics. I haven't read much Dc comics TBH (besides Alex Ross' comics). But when I was a kid I had this one

Where Aquaman end up in the future, and he was so badass. I must have read it 30 times. I Never read the whole series, but I remember fondly this issue and how much potential this character's got.

Too bad WB don't seem to care.

ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 3:33 PM
@Usernametaken - That Morrison JLA run is definitive. Peter David's Aquaman was pretty badass too. Jason Momoa would be perfect casting for either of these versions of Aquaman, but they've turned him into the Silver Age/Superfriends version instead.
BGarlz92 - 8/4/2023, 7:56 AM
If they had made it Beowulf style then maybe it would have made sense, but Alex Ross' art is a massive element of the storyline overall appeal. I don't think their current animation style fit.
Usernametaken - 8/4/2023, 7:58 AM
@BGarlz92 - I wonder if one day the will finally update that artstyle. It's been around since the 90's.
CorndogBurglar - 8/4/2023, 11:54 AM
@BGarlz92 - I'll admit the art does give it a good tone and feel. But the story in Kingdom Come was great and had a lot of meaning in it. I wouldn't mind an animated take on it.
Arthorious - 8/4/2023, 7:59 AM
After watching Warworld I’d be okay if they don’t adapt Kingdom into an animated film.
DocSpock - 8/4/2023, 8:00 AM
Thank God WB didn't get their dirty paws on this.

FireandBlood - 8/4/2023, 8:05 AM
Snyder wanted to do Dark Knight Returns. Now Gunn wants to do Kingdom Come.

WarMonkey - 8/4/2023, 8:32 AM
I am not a fan of this new DCAU at all. I've given up now after Warworld. I still watch the older stuff all the time though.
IronDean2099 - 8/4/2023, 9:37 AM
They could do Kingdom Come as an audio thing like that Batman serial.
Deckacards - 8/4/2023, 11:05 AM
THIS should NOT be an animated movie.

It SHOULD, however, be an elseworlds trilogy of live action movies, done patiently to get it right, in Gunn's new film schedule.

1. Movie 1: Magog and his "heroes" running around the world making a mess of things. Ends with someone finding Superman on the farm and convincing him to come back - final scene is old Justice League announcing their return and intentions.

2. Movie 2: Justice League and Magog's crew mix it up around the world...

3. Movie 3: Climax and final confrontations, including Captain Marvel vs. Superman.

The way you get the "photorealistic" art of Alex Ross right...is by doing "in the real" instead, honoring look and feel of comic art costumes by Ross.

And before anyone asks, no...Cavill and Levi should NOT be in the movie.
CorndogBurglar - 8/4/2023, 11:52 AM
I don't know why they reconsidered. Its an alternate future story. Just make it.
Th3Batman - 8/4/2023, 12:55 PM
This happened back in 2007-2008 when they wanted to make Batman Year One. Their request was denied due to Batman Begins being inspired by it, resulting in Year One's animated movie getting pushed to 2011.
OmegaBlack13 - 8/4/2023, 12:55 PM
What does he mean that miniseries are easier than graphic novels? What’s the distinction he’s making between the two?

Also I’m glad that Bruce Timm had the foresight to realize that it’s pointless to adapt without Ross’ art style. Looking at the Long Halloween movie, that’s really not something I’d wanna see done to Kingdom Come.
ObserverIO - 8/4/2023, 1:05 PM
@OmegaBlack13 - Well a miniseries can be anything from 3-13 issues long, whereas a graphic novel can be anything from 3-13 chapters long. So... um...
OmegaBlack13 - 8/5/2023, 3:53 PM
@ObserverIO - Right, that’s what confuses me. A graphic novel is generally shorter, as it’s something that’s never released as periodical issues, yet he references them being longer. I guess SOME graphic novels are longer than SOME miniseries, but I feel like that’s not really the norm.
ObserverIO - 8/6/2023, 4:35 AM
@OmegaBlack13 - Oh you mean OGN. I thought you just meant collected editions, which is even worse because they are exactly the same, lol. I thought he was trying to make a distinction between like say Watchmen the mini-series and Watchmen the trade paperback (which is exactly the same, lol).

Yeah I guess there is a difference between Original Graphic Novels and mini-series, but like you say OGN's are usually shorter, if anything.
four20smoke - 8/4/2023, 2:11 PM
I have this storyline as a volume and it just didn't grab me the right way. I haven't fi ished it yet. I think it's a good story based on the popularity of it, but I don't know why I can't get into it.
Demigods - 8/4/2023, 2:35 PM
I HIGHLY doubt they could do the Art style justice, and if you can't do it justice, then don't do it at all. This would need to be a 2.5 hour Epic, done with the very very best artists in the world... anything short of that will just be a pale imitation.
Scripturepoetic - 8/4/2023, 3:56 PM

“Superman: Awakens” proves Unreal Engine 5 can capture Alex Ross’ aesthetic

Maybe recruit James Mangold to try directing an animated film… just keep Robert Zemeckis far away
marvel72 - 8/4/2023, 4:57 PM
Kingdom Come
Sinestro Corp War
Blackest Night

Should be made.

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