DC's Creature Commandos Story So Big It Had to Be Animation

Fans of all things DC got their first glimpse at the new DC Universe on Tuesday, a cross-medium effort telling one interconnected story. As newly-minted DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran have confirmed, the DC Universe will be made up films and television shows, both live-action and animated, in addition to video games. As for what gets the live-action versus animation treatment, it all depends on the story.

The lone animated project announced as a part of the DCU's Chapter 1: Gods and Monster is Creature Commandos, which has a story so big, it has to be told through animation to save on costs. "And in terms of animation, sometimes it's a fun way to introduce characters or introduce stories that would frankly be too expensive to be done in live-action," Safran told members of the press gathered at DC Studios HQ Monday.

The expansive story takes place over seven episodes, with Gunn estimating a live-action version of the series with the current story would cost the studio between $35 million to $40 million per episode. Multiplying those numbers across seven episodes mean a live-action Creature Commandos would cost DC Studios between $245 million to $280 million, on-pace with superhero blockbusters from rival studios such as Marvel.

"Creature Commandos is based on the great team from DC," Gunn explained at the same event. "What we're doing with the DCU is, we are having animation tied directly into live action. Television, movies, and games all intertwine within the same universe. We're going to cast actors that are going to be able to play the characters in this as well as in other things, some of which we've already cast. I've written all seven episodes of the show, and it's in production. So that's the first thing, and I love it."

Who are the Creature Commandos?

Created by Jeff Lemire and Ibraim Roberson, Nina Mazursky was a scientist for S.H.A.D.E. whose life and marriage fell apart after losing her young daughter to a terminal illness. She created the Creature Commandos, and at first ended up squaring off against The Atom. That first generation of creatures was unstable, and had to be imprisoned in a microscopic prison called The Zoo, but Nina created a second generation of Creature Commandos, which turned out to be the heroes she fights alongside now. Including herself in the experiment, she was transformed into an amphibious genius in a special suit.

What other characters would you like to see pop up in subsequent seasons of the animated series? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!