Marvel Comics held a telephone press conference today with Craig Kyle
, Executive Producer for the new Fantastic Four Animated series coming to Cartoon Network, and Chris Yost
, story editor and head writer for the show.
Premiering September 2nd at 8:00 pm EST on Cartoon Network's Toonami
, this series will feature the Fantastic Four doing what they do best: exploring new worlds and meeting crazy aliens and villians. Production of the show will be handled by MoonScoop, a studio in France known for their work on Code Lyoko and Funky Cops. Craig feels the Fantastic Four Animated series will be their best work to date.
Craig and Chris opened the floor to questions from the press. (Questions and answers are paraphrased.)
Q: Will the stories be done with a lot of slapstick comedy?
A: The show will be a mixture of action and fun. These guys are celebrity superheroes and a family at the same time. The dialogue will not be written down to the audience, and the balance should appeal to kids and adults.
Q: When can we expect to see the release of the toyline
developed by Toy Biz for this show, orginally shown at last year's Toy Fair?
A: Craig is not sure what the current status on this line is since Hasbro will now be handling the toy license and distribution. He felt that the plan was to get series out to the fans before planning a strategy to release the toys. There is no exact date for the toy release, but feels will be sooner rather then later.
Q: How many episodes has Cartoon Network currently committed to?
A: Twenty-six episodes have been produced so far, but they hope to do a lot more and have structured the series with this in mind.
Q: What villians or guest stars might we see appear in this series?
A: Most of the FF major villians like Dr. Doom, Mole Man, the Skulls and the Kree will make an appearance. Information on guest stars was limited to an announcement that the Hulk will appear in one of the first 5 episodes, called "Hard Knocks". Look for the Hulk and Thing to throw down in this episode.
Craig closed the press conference will an explanation that the show will have a modern interpretation of the characters. When the series starts, they will already have their powers and be operating out of the Baxter Building. The show will allow both long-time followers of the FF and newcomers to enjoy the series. The first episode, titled "Trial By Fire" and featuring Ronan, will really show off what this series has to offer fans.
The stories will be a combination of new stories and re-interpretations of stories told in the comics. Craig hinted that we might expect to see Dr. Doom launching the Baxter Building into space in one of the episodes. He also notes that Doom makes his first appearance in the second episode.
The animation will be a combination of 2-D and 3-D CGI. In Craig's opinion, hand-drawn 2-D characters against 3-D CGI backgrounds is the perfect marriage that allows the emotion and expressions of the characters to really come out in fantastic-looking environments.