Warners Lines Up Writers For Animated METAL MEN

Metal Men

Warners is lining up another of its DC Comics properties to make the leap off of the comics page. Ron Clements and John Musker, the team behind such Disney animated classics as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess And The Frog, are now in charge with working their magic on an animated adaptation of DC’s Metal Men comic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pair have written a story treatment which writer Celeste Ballard will flesh out into a full screenplay. Clements and Musker will also be producing and possibly directing the film. The project is being produced through the studio’s Warner Animation Group.

Created in 1962 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, the team consists of six robots created by a brilliant robotist named Doctor Will Magnus. Magnus came up a device called a “responsometer” that gave robots the capacity for independent thought and individual personalities. The doctor put these responsometers into robots composed of six metals–Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Tin and Platinum. When the robots came to life, the became shape-shifting heroes whose personalities and powers mimicked the metals of which they were made (Mercury became a viscous humanoid with a mercurial personality, Tin was the weakest of the group and therefore crippled with self-doubt, etc).

The Metal Men has been a DC Comics group of characters that Warner Brothers has been developing on and off for over a decade now. As far back as 2009, comics writer and co-founder of the DC Films unit at Warner Brothers Geoff Johns was attached to the Metal Men as a producer. In 2012, director Barry Sonnenfeld was reported to be attached to an attempt, but the last several years have been silent regards to anything that would bring the characters off of the comics page.

Given the robots’ elastic, shape-stretching nature, animation certainly seems like a good medium for the characters. They have appeared in some of Warners previous animated direct-to-home video fare including Justice League: The New Frontier and Justice League: Gods and Monsters and the animated series Batman: The Brave And The Bold. But I am surprised that a solo outing for the characters hasn’t been mooted for animation before this news.

There is no word as to where Warner Brothers will ultimately premier the film. DC has quite a good reputation for its direct-to-home video line of animated features over the last several years. And of course, they have been developing numerous projects for HBO Max. Both could be good fits for the film. Then again, Warner Animation Group has DC League of Super Pets arriving in theaters next May, so perhaps the studio is eyeing Metal Men for a theatrical release as well.

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About Rich Drees 7192 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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