Animal Man Movie Reportedly In the Works

It seems that Warner Bros. and DC’s plans to invest in a series of smaller-scale features is gathering steam, after the recent confirmation that a Black Canary solo outing was in the works. According to Giant Freakin Robot, the latest character being planned for a standalone movie is Animal Man, presumably in a story that will draw on Grant Morrison’s acclaimed 1980s run on the title.

For those not aware, Animal Man is Buddy Baker, a hero who receives the power to temporarily borrow the abilities of animals. Baker was first introduced during the 1960s, but rose above being a bit-player in DC’s comics universe when a young Grant Morrison reimagined Animal Man. Part of a wave of classic figures given revivals by British talent that included Swamp Thing and the Sandman, the new version of Baker tackled vegetarianism, animal rights, and other contemporary themes.

In addition, Morrison’s time on the book brought in some increasingly fantastical and surreal elements, an approach that continued with subsequent writers under the Vertigo imprint. On screen, Baker has turned up in various animated forms, often in comedic circumstances, as well as in video games. There hasn’t really been talk of making an Animal Man feature before, though, even if it was one idea that we’ve long been fans of.

While things are at an early stage, and we’re unlikely to get an official announcement and firmer details in the same way as Black Canary or the in-development Blue Beetle picture, Animal Man does seem like a good fit for HBO Max’s more specific freedoms around content. Indeed, DC may be banking on a more serious treatment of the material, perhaps drawing from Morrison’s perspective, emulating the success of Aquaman in finding depth in a superhero often ripe for parody.