DC’s The Metal Men are coming to screens in animated form courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation and some very steely creative forces.
As The Hollywood Reporter shared in an exclusive, “Animation legends Ron Clements and John Musker have teamed up with Celeste Ballard, a writer who worked on Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
Clements and Musker spent decades at Disney and are responsible for the celebrated classics The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and the more modern favorites The Princess and The Frog and Moana.
Per THR, the duo will not only write and produce The Metal Men, but they’re are also looking to direct the feature – though that aspect hasn’t been finalized.
As noted, the pair have also teamed with Celeste Ballard, one of the six screenwriter on who worked on Space Jam: A New Legacy, to co-write the film.
By the sound of it, Clements and Musker already have the story treatment down, so Ballard is probably only helping write the screenplay.
Ballard has also served as a writer for Sweet Vicious on MTV and Wrecked on TBS, two credits which THR believes provide a hint Metal Men’s tone is going to be featuring whip-snap and irreverent humor.
Further, Iron Giant producer Allison Abbate, a veteran who has had a hand in Tim Burton’s stop-motion features The Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, and the classic Nightmare Before Christmas, “is shepherding the project” for Warner Animation.
Also a producer and EP on The Lego Movie, Scoob!, this year’s Tom & Jerry, both Space Jam films, and the upcoming Super Pets movie, Abbate’s filmography may also serve to provide some insight as to what the tone and animation style of Metal Men will be.
This isn’t the first time The Metal Men were slated for an adaptation.
A live-action film helmed by Barry Sonnenfeld was announced in 2012, but other than news that Lauren Shuler Donner and Geoff Johns had boarded the project as EPs, nothing came of it.
Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru in 1962, the sentient robot Metal Men are the product of scientist William Magnus’ brilliance. Representing the alloys gold, iron, lead, tin, mercury, and platinum, the machines made their DC Universe debut in Showcase #37 and have been part of the publisher’s mythos ever since.
The comics have varied in tone from lighthearted to darkly serious, such as when they and Magnus were on the run from a government that wanted to use them as assassins.
The Metal Men made several appearances in animation already including episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold and DC Nation shorts.
They even made an appearance in Justice League: Gods and Monsters, where they were reinvented as the powerful killer foot soldiers of the deceitful Dr. Magnus.
As of writing, the film’s story details, as well as its potential release date, are being kept under wraps.
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