HBO Max orders Aquaman animation from James Wan
James R | On 18, Jan 2020
HBO Max has ordered an animated Aquaman series from James Wan.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis will see the DC superhero jump from the big screen to the small screen, after his live-action solo outing that saw Jason Momoa reprise his role from 2017 blockbuster Justice League.
The ocean master is swimming in familiar waters, having previously aired a series on CBS back in the 1960s and 1970s, before appearing in the TV series Super Friends. Now, he’s back in living rooms again, with HBO Max greenlighting a three-part animation from Warner Bros Animation and James Wan’s Atmomic Monster.
The mini-series will feature stand-alone stories “laced with ecological and ethical themes”, reports Deadline, and will be aimed a family audience. Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!). Victor Courtright (ThunderCats Roar!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) will serve as showrunners.
“This DC property is a fan-favorite, rich with well-known characters and dynamic storylines,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, in a statement. “On the heels of Warner Bros. Pictures’ box office smash hit, we are certain Aquaman: King of Atlantis will be an exciting addition to our already robust slate of kids and family programming.”
The series begins with Aquaman’s first day on the job as king of Atlantis and he’s got a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, he has his two royal advisors to back him up – Vulko, the scholar, and Mera, the water controlling warrior-princess. Between dealing with unscrupulous surface dwellers, elder evils from beyond time and his own half-brother who wants to overthrow him, Aquaman is going to have to rise to the challenge and prove to his subjects, and to himself, that he’s the right man for the trident.
It joins a string of other animations in the work for HBO Max, including Looney Tunes, Jellystone, Adventure Time: Distant Lands, Little Ellen, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Rick and Morty, and The Boondocks.
It also arrives as WarnerMedia tries to work out how to position DC series on its DC subscription platform, DC Universe, versus shows on HBO Max. HBO Max DC series will include a Green Lantern TV series, as well as DC Super Hero High. DC Universe series Doom Patrol, meanwhile, will also be coming to HBO Max as well as the DCU platform, with no confirmation yet on what will happen to other DCU shows, including Harley Quinn, Titans and Young Justice.
“We’re working out what those mechanics are,” HBO Max’s Chief Content Officer Kevin Reilly admitted this week. “We have to figure out those two subscriptions, and we haven’t worked out the mechanics of what that’s going to look like.”
One option may be for DCU originals to air a day early on that platform before being added to HBO Max. Either way, with DC Universe series being licensed out to Channel 4 (Harley Quinn), STARZPLAY (Doom Patrol) and Netflix (Titans), and with Sky otherwise renewing its ongoing partnership with HBO, it looks unlikely that HBO Max will launch in the UK, with Aquaman’s animated outing more likely to air on Sky or somewhere else.