A few weeks ago I got to visit the set of the upcoming Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe. This was well before the announcement at NYCC and the release of the trailer. While on site I got to talk with stars Michael Rowe formerly of Arrow and Jason David Frank the former Green Power Ranger. I also spoke with directors Aaron Schoenke and Sean Schoenke and producers Dinesh Shamdasani and Josh Johns. Over the next few days I will be sharing some of those interviews.
The day started off at 11 am at a studio in Los Angeles where they were going to be filming a fight between Ninjak, Valiant's resident super-spy ninja, and Blooshot, their invincible fighting machine. We started off in a conference room where Shamdasani, Johns and Hunter Gorinson the companies VP of Marketing gave us some details on the project.
The series will start with a 16 minute episode, followed by a series of 8 minute episodes and then conclude with another 16 minute episode. This is bigger than anything that Bat In The Sun productions has done before. The first episode alone has 14 or 15 sets.
They are attempting to make a Netflix original series or CW series that is released digitally. Valiant sees the digital market as the equivalent of the animation market of the 90's. Where cartoons used to be the avenue to expand your properties, they believe it's now through things like Super Power Beatdown. They also feel that this is an area that has been neglected by the comic industry and that what they are doing may make other companies dive into this medium.
When it came to casting, Valiant wanted people that could act but also looked like they just walked out of the comic. Since this will be the first time that any of these characters have been portrayed out side of the comics, they wanted to do it right and get people who are excited about playing the characters. The actors are also on board to return if this series expands past the initial run.
Another thing they want to do is shift genres with each episode based on who Ninjak is fighting. The episode with Archer & Armstrong will be more humorous, even slapstick while the X-O Manowar episode will be high science fiction. The Bloodshot episode will be more gritty 80's violence and the Shadowman episode will get mystical and take us to other planes of reality.
I will get into some of the individual interviews in the next few days, but the one thing that stood out to me through the entire visit was how much everyone involved wanted to do this right. From the producers, to the directors, the actors, the costume and make-up people all they way down. Everyone wanted to make sure that they took the time to do everything right. The Ninjak suit alone took 10 months to make. And even though they are filming now, we don't expect to see the full thing released until Winter of 2017.
And if you missed it, here is the trailer released at NYCC.