What’s the big idea?
DC as in the comics company?
Yes indeedio. They’re jumping on the “having a streaming platform dedicated to the output of one company” bandwagon that a lot of big media companies are experimenting with at the moment - Disney has one on the way, CBS launched one with Star Trek: Discovery and Viacom (parent company of MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon) is developing one.
What shows will they have?
Titans is a live-action adaptation of the Teen Titans comic, previously made for the channel TNT but rejected by them at the pilot stage. It follows a post-Robin Dick Grayson putting a superhero team together including Starfire, Cyborg and Raven. Star Trek screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, DC head honcho Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti, the puppetmaster behind the Flash/Arrow/Supergirl TV show universe, are all on board.
- Young Justice: Outsiders
Two seasons of Young Justice ran on Cartoon Network in 2012 and 2013 before being cancelled despite high critical acclaim. It was essentially a junior version of Justice League, following the exploits of a group of teenage sidekicks - Robin, Aqualad, Speedy, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis. Controversially, a factor in its cancellation was said to be its high proportion of female viewers - a large amount of the show’s funding came from a toy deal and, according to Paul Dini, the toy company didn’t like the ratio because “girls don’t buy enough toys”.
This new iteration will be both its own show and the third season of Young Justice.
- Harley Quinn
26 episodes of an animated series about Harley Quinn have been ordered. Suicide Squadstar Margot Robbie is reportedly in talks to reprise the character, and the show is said to feature “Poison Ivy and a whole cast of heroes and villains”. A teaser image was shared last year that looks, honestly, pretty fantastic:
Is it all superhero stuff then?
Almost all - there’s also a planned adaptation of Swamp Thing, produced by Saw and Aquaman director James Wan, that is likely to lean more towards horror.
Daredevil, Battlestar Galactica and Ash Vs Evil Dead writer Mark Verheiden and IT screenwriter Gary Dauberman are writing the pilot, which seems as though it’s going to explore the Gothic horror side of the character, who began in full-on horror comics. A reinvention in the 1980s by Alan Moore brought a tragedy to the character, an elemental force that absorbed the memories and personalities of a scientist named Alec Holland.
There is speculation that the show will focus on Abby Arcane, Holland’s lover, with Swamp Thing himself (seemingly at least) a villain. Could be really, really good.
This is what a previous adaptation of Swamp Thing looked like, though, so who knows…
Intrigued? Watch this, it’s breathtaking. Or, better, read Alan Moore’s run on the character, Saga Of The Swamp Thing, it’s great.
Do you have any ideas for shows they should do?
- A really good, fun Batgirl TV show would be fantastic. Upbeat in tone, really bright and colourful and fun, not a million miles away from the Yvonne Craig years, it could be amazing. or go entirely the other way, and do an Aeon Flux style animated show about Cassandra Cain.
- Convince Jason Momoa to not be a movie star anymore and appear in a ridiculous, over-the-top Lobo show with so much sex and violence it makes Game Of Thrones look like Wallace & Gromit.
- An animated Plastic Man show could be really good. Claymation, even. Wicked. Or a really violent Morph-type show about Clayface.
- A kids’ show about Krypto the Wonder Dog and Ace the Bat-Hound would basically sell two billion quids worth of merch a week.
- A proper grown-up drama about Midnighter and Apollo where they’re only occasionally involved in actual superheroics, and it mainly focuses on their lives together.
Yeah. Get in touch, DC.
Will they have old stuff as well?
No information has been made public, but one would assume/hope that some archive shows would be made available. Batman: The Animated Series is, hand-on-heart, one of the greatest shows ever made.
Will the platform be available in the UK?
At present, it doesn’t look as though it will - anyone signing up for DC Universe has to tick a box specifying that they are a resident of the United States. Confusingly, there’s also something going in involving the dating site Spark - the inquiries email address on the DC Universe site sends emails to the dating network…
Of course, it’s highly possible that, should it become successful in the States, it’ll be rolled out all over the world. Hope springs eternal - it sounds like this could lead to some properly awesome stuff.
(Pic: Cartoon Network)