NYCC 2016: Valiant Announces NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE â€“ A Live-Action, Digital-Exclusive SeriesÂ
Award-Winning Comics Publisher Launches New pision, VALIANT DIGITAL, to Produce Short-Form Content for Emerging MediaÂ
As revealed today atÂ New York Comic Con 2016, Valiant Entertainment is proud to announceÂ NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSEÂ â€“ a brutal, first-of-its-kind, live-action digital series. Premiering online in late 2017, the bone-shattering, six-episode series will pit MI-6â€™s master assassin, Ninjak, against a gauntlet of Valiantâ€™s most formidable heroes for a bloodstained battle royale torn from the pages of the largest independent superhero universe in comics.
Watch the first trailer forÂ NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSEÂ here:
The series will be the first project fromÂ VALIANT DIGITALÂ â€“ a new pision of Valiant Entertainment committed to producing original content in live-action, animation and emerging media created specifically for the digital arena. In addition toÂ NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE, look for more projects fromÂ VALIANT DIGITALÂ to be announced in the near future.
â€śWith major projects in film, television, and gaming already well underway, VALIANT DIGITAL is the next strategic evolution of Valiantâ€™s long-term plan to expand the ranks of its already sizable fanbase around the world,â€ť said Valiant Chief Operating Officer Gavin Cuneo. "In years past, it wasnâ€™t uncommon for comic book publishers to prime new fans by expanding into Saturday morning animation or short-form programming. Today, that demographic has largely migrated online. With the launch of VALIANT DIGITAL and, soon, NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE, Valiant will become the first major comic book publisher to create original, short-form content for the digital arena â€“ and, with it, introduce our characters to one of the most engaged and passionate communities anywhere.â€ť
Directed byÂ Aaron & Sean SchoenkeÂ ofÂ Bat in the Sun ProductionsÂ â€“ the creators of the massively popular YouTube sensationÂ Super Power Beat DownÂ â€“ and written byÂ Aaron Schoenke,Â Sean Schoenke, andÂ Joe Harris,Â NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSEÂ starsÂ Michael RoweÂ (The CWâ€™sArrowÂ andÂ The Flash) as Colin King aka Ninjak;Â Jason David FrankÂ (Power Rangers) as Bloodshot;John MorrisonÂ (WWE, El Reyâ€™sÂ Lucha Underground) as the Eternal Warrior;Â Chantelle BarryÂ (90210, Entourage) as Roku;Â Kevin PorterÂ (Dodgeball) as Armstrong;Â Ciera FosterÂ (Two and a Half Men) as Livewire, andÂ Derek ThelerÂ (ABCâ€™sÂ Baby Daddy) as X-O Manowar; among others yet to be revealed. The series will be produced byÂ Dinesh Shamdasani,Â Josh Johns,Â andÂ Gavin CuneoÂ for Valiant Entertainment.
"We've beenÂ quietlyÂ working over the last year to build a series of a scale and ambition that has never before been attempted in the digital space.Â NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE is aÂ showcase for the incredible characters and storytelling that Valiant has exhibited from its inception," said Valiant CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. "We are incredibly excited to finally be sharing the first project from VALIANT DIGITALÂ with the Valiant fanbase, the comic book faithful andÂ a whole new legion of fans who consume pop culture in the digital arena, but have yet to purchase their first Valiant comic. We're bringing the sameÂ passion and intensity that helped us produce some of the best comics in the business and coupling that with an incredible,Â first-class team of filmmakers to create an experience thatÂ must be seen to be believed.â€ť
Colin King is Ninjak, MI-6â€™s deadliest intelligence operative and weapons expert. When the ruthless assassin Roku exploits his greatest weakness, Ninjak will be forced to betray his closest allies. Now, on the run, he must face off against the most powerful heroes known to man for a high-octane, take-no-prisoners trial by fire more perilous and more unpredictable than any heâ€™s faced before. In 2017, the worldâ€™s most dangerous super-spy goes to war with the Valiant Universeâ€¦Â
"Bat in the Sun couldn't be more excited to be teaming up with the Valiant Digital family with NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSE,â€ť said Bat in the Sun Productions co-founder Aaron Schoenke. â€śSince starting Bat in the Sun in 2001, we have continued to push boundaries of digital-exclusive content and we excitedly look forward to bringing our millions of fans a series unlike anything they have seen before."
Originally founded in 1989, Valiant Entertainment is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium with more than 80 million units sold and the third largest library of superhero characters in comics. In 2012, Valiant roared back to the fore with four new titles released under the banner of â€śThe Summer of Valiantâ€ť â€“ a relaunch that quickly established itself as the biggest debut of a new comic book publisher in more than a decade. Beginning withÂ X-O MANOWAR #1Â by New York Times best-selling writer Robert VendittiÂ and Eisner Award-winning artistÂ Cary Nord, which ranked as the yearâ€™s best-selling new series from any independent publisher, Valiant has gone onto produce some of the highest selling and most critically accoladed comic titles anywhere in the industry. During the same period, the resurgent Valiant was also awarded a coveted Diamond Gem Award for Publisher of the Year after just seven months of publishing, marking the fastest time that any new publisher had been named to one of comicsâ€™ highest honors. In 2015, Valiant announced a multi-picture deal to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as feature films.
Consistently rated year over year as the most acclaimed comic book publisher in the industry today, Valiant has received hundreds of awards, nominations, and critical accolades, culminating in 2016 with a record-setting 50 Harvey Awards nominations â€“ the most ever received by a single publisher in the history of one of the comic book industryâ€™s most prestigious awards.
Co-created by legendary writer/artistÂ Bob Layton, writerÂ Mark Moretti, and current Marvel Chief Creative OfficerÂ Joe Quesada, Ninjak first debuted in 1993 in the pages of Valiantâ€™sÂ BLOODSHOT #6before launching his own massively popular solo series. As one of the definitive and most popular Valiant heroes of all time, Ninjak boasts lifetime sales of more than 3 million copies and a legion of fans around the world. Ninjakâ€™s current series, launched in 2015 by New York Times best-selling writerMatt KindtÂ with artistsÂ Clay MannÂ andÂ Butch Guice, is often cited as one of Valiantâ€™s finest and was recently nominated for seven 2016 Harvey Awards in categories including Best Continuing or Limited Series, Best Graphic Album, Best Cover Artist, and many more.Â NINJAK VS. THE VALIANT UNIVERSEÂ will mark the characterâ€™s first appearance in live-action.
Founded byÂ Aaron & Sean SchoenkeÂ in 2001,Â Bat in the Sun Productions is one of the leading producers of scripted original content in the digital arena. Their flagship show,Â Super Power Beat Down, is one of the most successful original series in YouTube history and features popular heroes and villains leaping from the comic page and onto the screen for a winner-take-all battle decided by fans across the globe. The success ofÂ Super Power Beat DownÂ has launchedÂ Bat in the Sunâ€™s YouTube network into worldwide notoriety and popular acclaim with nearly 2 million subscribers and more than 200 million views.