HBO Max announced a greenlight for James Wan’s Aquaman: King of Atlantis, an animated mini-series looking to ride the wave of popularity for the DC Comics superhero amid the billion-dollar success of Wan’s 2018 live-action feature film.
Aimed at family audience, Aquaman: King of Atlantis will be a three-part mini-series from Wan’s Atomic Monster and Warner Bros Animation with stand-alone stories laced with ecological and ethical themes. The mini-series was announced Wednesday at the WarnerMedia Television Critics Association day.
The maritime hero Aquaman was created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris and introduced in 1941 in the pages of DC Comics.
“This DC property is a fan-favorite, rich with well-known characters and dynamic storylines,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “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.”
Aquaman: King of Atlantis will join an HBO Max animation line-up that includes Looney Tunes Cartoons, Jellystone, Adventure Time: Distant Lands, Little Ellen, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Rick and Morty, and The Boondocks.
The synopsis from producers hints of the family-tilted tone: “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!”
The undersea king has a long history in television animation dating back to the CBS series Aquaman (1967-1970) which featured a voice cast that included Ted Knight and Pat Harrington Jr. The traditional blond, orange-shirted version of the hero became widely known on the Super Friends (1973-1985). That wholesome fair-haired version of the character got a major make-over in 2016 when Batman v. Superman introduced Jason Momoa’s edgy, outsider hero into the Warner Bros DC Universe films.
HBO has some indirect Aquaman history as well — the superhero property was notoriously lampooned by Entourage in Season Two (2005) with a fictional James Cameron adaptation serving as the briny butt of ongoing jokes about superhero spectacle films.
The new mini-series is executive produced by James Wan, Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear(Annabelle Comes Home), Rob Hackett (Swamp Thing), and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!). Victor Courtright (ThunderCats Roar!) and Marly Halpern-Graser (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) will serve as showrunners and co-executive producers.
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