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SYFY WIRE Deathstroke

WIRE Buzz: Deathstroke cartoon; new Brightburn clip; Atlas Comics cinematic universe

By Josh Grossberg

Deathstroke is getting animated, a boy shows off some gnarly superpowers in a new Brightburn clip, and Atlas Comics is getting its own cinematic universe — all in our latest WIRE Buzz roundup.

First, let's get things started with the world's greatest assassin. Per Deadline, The CW announced during this week's upfronts presentation that it is launching a Deathstroke animated series that will air on CW Seed, The CW's digital platform.

Deathstroke, of course, is the mercenary who shot to fame as the archenemy of Dick Grayson on the Cartoon Network's hit Teen Titans. The character has since become a fan favorite, so much so that we officially have a surplus.

Deathstroke will join The Pledge, a horror series from the producers of the Saw franchise, as the latest addition to the CW Seed's lineup, along with current 'toons Vixen and The Ray.

Next up: Brightburn, Sony Pictures' upcoming superhero horror flick produced by James Gunn and directed by David Yarovesky (The Hive). A new clip shows what happens when young Brandon Beyer, played by Avengers: Endgame actor Jackson A. Dunn, discovers that he's got some pretty spooktacular abilities.

The film, written by James' brother Brian Gunn and cousin Mark Gunn, chronicles an alien kid who crash-lands on Earth, a la Superman, and ends up being taken in by Tori Breyer, a woman struggling with fertility (Elizabeth Banks). Only instead of growing up to save the world, this bad seed ends up wielding powers that point to something far more terrifying for the Breyer household and the classmates who bullied him at school.

Needless to say, Clark Kent this is not. Brightburn hits theaters on May 24, looking to scare up some major Memorial Day box office.

Last but not least, Ghost Rider producer Steven Paul has acquired Atlas Comics' vast library as part of his SP Media Group holdings, and has reached a pact with Paramount to co-finance, produce, and distribute superhero movies based on the properties.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, as part of a plan to hatch yet another cinematic universe, Paul also cinched a deal with Akiva Goldsman, the veteran scribe who won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind but is best known to the SYFY set for writing I Am Legend; I, Robot; the recent Dark Tower adaptation; and the two campy Joel Schumacher-directed Batman flicks, Batman Forever and its infamous nipply spawn, Batman and Robin.

Goldsman will reportedly supervise a writers' room of nine that will fashion feature-length stories for the likes of such Atlas characters as Tiger-Man, the Scorpion, Sgt. Stryker's Death Squad, and Devilina. The goal? Why, to compete with Disney's Marvel juggernaut, of course, by releasing one superhero film a year beginning in 2021!

"We’re still counting the characters," said Paul at a lavish press conference at the Cannes Film Festival. "Marvel has 4,700. I want to be up there."

Good luck with that.