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.