Valiant Comics and Bat in the Sun Productions had huge top secret news coming out of New York Comic Con today. Valiant are the creators of comic series Harbinger, Bloodshot, and X-O Manowar. Bat in the Sun are the creative team behind the popular web show Super Power Beat Down where superheroes are pitted against each other, and the audience decides who wins. Today Valiant announced a new phase and direction for the company with an exciting project in the works.
Valiant CEO and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani, Associate Director of Development and Digital Media Josh Johns announced a new division of the company — Valiant Digital. And to go along with this new division, they’re teaming up with Bat in the Sun directors and co-founders, Aaron and Sean Schoenke to bring some of Valiant’s most famed comic characters to life in the new six-part live-action online series Ninjak Vs the Valiant Universe.
What Will Ninjak Vs the Valiant Universe Be About?
Shamdasani described the new show like this:
“Ninjak is forced — because of his greatest weakness — to steal something from MI6, and MI6 is forced to activate something called ‘Unity’ which is a super team that they utilize.”
“We’re going to see Ninjak basically battle all of the Valiant characters [with] some badass action fights that we do. It’s going to have a plot through it and some wider fighting,” said Johns.
“Each character will have its own fighting style and will be unique and represent the character.”
Valiant Digital also revealed the main cast, including:
Ninjak played by Michael Rowe (Deadshot from Arrow)
Bloodshot played by Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver from Power Rangers)
X-O Manowar played by Derek Theler (Baby Daddy star)
Roku played by Chantelle Barry
Armstrong played by Kevin Porter
Livewire played by Ciera Foster
Eternal Warrior played by John Morrison (WWE wrestler)
Preparing For the Role
The cast (minus Morrison) joined the panel today, discussing their roles and the lengths they went to in preparation for their roles. To get ready to play Ninjak, Rowe hired a former UFC fighter to train him and he “put me in a room with a lot of professional fighters… and I started to evolve and become more spring-loaded. I wouldn’t have enough time to actually become a ninja, so that was about the closest I could get.” To get into the mindset of the character, the Arrow actor moved into a room at the back of someone’s garage so that he felt like he was living in a cave. He stayed up all night and asked his roommate to do “random attacks” on him. “It got a little out of control,” Rowe said.
Valiant showed a couple of preview trailers for Ninjak Vs the Valiant Universe, and it looks completely insane. One scene showed a full-on fight with Bloodshot where various enemies stab him through the cheek and stomach, shoot him in the head, and blow up his hand with a grenade, only for his skin to heal itself. The effects looked pretty cool too. The Bat in the Sun team also said that in one of the episodes there is a “60-plus-second one-shot” single take of one of the fight scenes, going “full crazy” and really pushing the limits of the actors.
This is an exciting move for Valiant and the perfect timing for the company to move in this direction. ”Our editorial department has done an incredible job shepherding these characters,” said Shamdasani. “We don’t want these stories to only exist on the page; we want to find new and exciting ways to tell these stories. And… what people are doing [right now] with digital exclusive content, [makes it] the perfect time to bring our type of characters and stories to a whole new audience.“
Check out the (somewhat violent) teaser trailer for Ninjak Vs the Valiant Universe here.