Warner Bros. Consumer Products has named Mattel the master toy licensee for the DC Universe property. The multi-year deal grants Mattel unprecedented access to the complete DC Comics vault of characters, which includes more than a thousand world-famous superheroes and villains, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker and The Riddler. A series of PG-13 direct-to-video animated features will be released under the DC Universe banner, the first being Superman Doomsday, an adaptation of the best-selling graphic novel The Death of Superman.
In addition to rights to existing DC Comics characters, animation and motion pictures, the deal allows Mattel to produce toys based on future DC Universe film and animation projects that are developed and produced during the term of the agreement. Mattel will support the characters across all of its key brands, including Hot Wheels, Radica, Fisher-Price, Tyco and Mattel Games, and will set up special sections in toy aisles to help attract kids to the DC Universe brand.
The new deal expands a seven-year relationship between Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel, which recently released lines of action figures and vehicles based on the 2005 live-action feature Batman Begins and the Warner Bros. Animation series The Batman.
Warner Home Video will be the exclusive worldwide home entertainment distributor for the DC Universe movie series, and plans to release two to three movies per year. Slated to arrive in late 2007/early 2008, the first three titles will be Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: New Frontier and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. The productions will be brought to the screen by DC Comics creators, including award-winning writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (The New Frontier, Catwoman) and legendary writer Marv Wolfman (The New Teen Titans). Writer/producers Duane Capizzi (The Batman, The Batman vs. Dracula, Superman: Brainiac Attacks) and Stan Berkowitz (Justice League) will also adapt classic comic book stories for the series. Superman Doomsday is stated for release on Sept. 18.