Just made official at NYCC, Ninjak vs The Valiant Universe is looking awesome in its first trailer.
Now, that looks phenomenal. One thing though- don’t get confused. This digital series from Valiant and Bat in the Sun isn’t the feature film slate that’s coming. Harbinger and Bloodshot are still heading to the big screen, don’t worry. This though, is something else entirely. And it’s something that’s looking pretty damn awesome if I do say so myself.
Valiant goes digital
“With major projects in film, television, and gaming already well underway, VALIANT DIGITAL is the next strategic evolution of Valiant’s long-term plan to expand the ranks of its already sizable fanbase around the world,” said Valiant Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cuneo. “In years past, it wasn’t uncommon for comic book publishers to prime new fans by expanding into Saturday morning animation or short-form programming. Today, that demographic has largely migrated online. With the launch of VALIANT DIGITAL and, soon, NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE, Valiant will become the first major comic book publisher to create original, short-form content for the digital arena – and, with it, introduce our characters to one of the most engaged and passionate communities anywhere.”
“We’ve been quietly working over the last year to build a series of a scale and ambition that has never before been attempted in the digital space. NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE is a showcase for the incredible characters and storytelling that Valiant has exhibited from its inception,” said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. “We are incredibly excited to finally be sharing the first project from VALIANT DIGITAL with the Valiant fanbase, the comic book faithful and a whole new legion of fans who consume pop culture in the digital arena, but have yet to purchase their first Valiant comic. We’re bringing the same passion and intensity that helped us produce some of the best comics in the business and coupling that with an incredible, first-class team of filmmakers to create an experience that must be seen to be believed.”
Ninjak goes rogue
Though weather or not it’s ‘in canon’ is a question, Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe definitely isn’t some ‘what if’ series of meaningless fantasy battles. I kind of thought that it was at first, but that’s not it at all. Instead the series is very much a narrative, and one that sounds pretty awesome, especially if you’re a Ninjak fan.
According to the publisher, Colin King (Ninjak) has “his greatest weakness” exploited by his nemesis, the assassin called Roku (the woman with the red hair in the trailer). As a result he’s forced on the run, and has seemingly gone rogue. As one of the deadliest MI-6 operatives on the planet, you can imagine how that goes over. And that sets King up against his former allies, the superheroes of the Valiant U, who’re sent to take him down.
As you can see in the video, Ninjak will be squaring off against Bloodshot (who looks awesome), though he was already known to be included. Yes, he’ll indeed be battling more than just him, so get ready for Livewire, Archer and Armstrong, The Eternal Warrior, and even X-O Manowar himself.
Breaking new ground
So that’s Valiant’s end of things. As for the production house, you’d best believe that Bat in the Sun is pumped and ready to go. This kind of medium hosting a series as big as Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe is a very new idea after all. Bringing it to fans is, well, kind of a big deal.
“Bat in the Sun couldn’t be more excited to be teaming up with the Valiant Digital family with NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE,” said Bat in the Sun Productions co-founder Aaron Schoenke. “Since starting Bat in the Sun in 2001, we have continued to push boundaries of digital-exclusive content and we excitedly look forward to bringing our millions of fans a series unlike anything they have seen before.”
So who’s creating all this? The series is being directed by Bat’s Aaron & Sean Schoenke, and written by them as well, along with Joe Harris. Handling production duties will be none other than Dinesh Shamdasani, Josh Johns, and Gavin Cuneo, all with Valiant Entertainment.
And the on-screen talent? Well, that’d be:
- Michael Rowe (The CW’s Arrow and The Flash) as Colin King aka Ninjak
- Jason David Frank (Power Rangers) as Bloodshot
- John Morrison (WWE, El Rey’s Lucha Underground) as the Eternal Warrior
- Chantelle Barry (90210, Entourage) as Roku
- Kevin Porter (Dodgeball) as Armstrong
- Ciera Foster (Two and a Half Men) as Livewire
- Derek Theler (ABC’s Baby Daddy) as X-O Manowar
Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe sets its sites on online formats in late 2017. Watch this space though, as Valiant says that you can expect more from them down the line. That’s probably something that you’re safe getting excited for. With a first initiative as ambitious as this, I can’t wait to see what’s next.