Animation legends Ron Clements and John Musker, the famous team that spent decades at Disney making movies like Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog, is heading to DC.
The duo collaborated with Celeste Ballard, a writer who has worked on Space Jam: A New Legacy, to solve an animated feature on Metal Men. Warner Animation Group is the owner of the project, which is based on a longstanding DC property.
Clements and Musker are producing and have written the handling for the project. It’s unclear if the pair will direct as the project is in the early stages of development.
Craig Peck is executive producing. Alison Abbate, former producer (Iron Giant, Corpse Bride) and is currently the head of WAG, in charge of the project for the studio.
Based on the DC Comics heroes created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru in 1962, the concept revolves around a brilliant scientist, William Magnus, and his creations: six high-powered robots with the power and personality associated with the respective metals – gold, iron, lead, tin, mercury and platinum.
The group had its own title in the 1960s and then made regular appearances throughout the DC Universe in the following decades. The stories have shifted from humorous to sad, with the group sometimes having to run away from government agents or even become cyborg assassins. Groups sometimes incorporate metallic elements valued throughout the periodic table as new characters.
The heroes appeared in various animated series in the 1990s and 2000s, with Warners in the Aughts trying to develop live-action that is related, at various points, X Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner, writer and executive Geoff Johns and Man in black filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld.
Details of the new footage were not revealed but the animation vehicle and Ballard’s work on Space jam can indicate a direction. Ballard – represented by WME, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson – also worked on the TBS comedy Wrecked and MTV’s Sweet, with both whipping and careless humor features.
The vast work of Clements and Musker has seen them act as writers, directors, and producers on some of the biggest and most influential Disney films of all time, some featuring princesses. and the number of songs that have become iconic, and have seen the transition of 2D animation to CG. On their résumé is the comeback hit of 1989 Little Mermaid and in 1992 Aladdin, movies that led to Disney’s great comeback in the 1990s. They also went after 1997 Hercules, 2002 year Treasure planet, 2009 The Princess and the Frog and 2016 Moana, the latter two installments of the great Disney revival.
The involvement of long-time experts is a boost for WAG, which is still in its nascent anime production stage. The Warners unit will lean more heavily on the DC franchise as it develops and the next DC League of Super Pets in theaters May 2022.