Before you get too excited, I should explain that the The Avengers Vs. X-Men Ultimate War / Thor: Beta Ray Bill animated DVD is in what looks to be permanent limbo. Intended to follow the second Ultimate Avengers cartoon, the feature would have been an adaptation of the comic book storyline.
Artist Steven Gordon spoke to MTV’s Splash Page about what might have been.
“My understanding is this would have been an adaptation of the ‘Ultimate War’ series,” animation director and storyboard artist Steven E. Gordon (“X-Men: Evolution”) told Marvel Animation Age. “I never read a treatment, but since I was working very closely from the comics I assume they adhered pretty closely.”
“I was looking forward to seeing how they handled the Pietro/Wanda relationship,” revealed Gordon. “It seems like they were going to try and actually ‘go there’ and I like the fact that it seemed like many of the characters would never even appear in a uniform.”
“The DVD was going to be done like they did the ‘Hulk Vs.’ DVD where half would be devoted to the ‘Ultimate War’and the other half was planned to be a ‘Thor’ story,” continued Gordon. “At one point the ‘Thor’ story they intended on adapting was Beta Ray Bill, but I believe they dropped that after some exploration. We never got too far on finding a look for the Thor adventure.”
I have to admit that even though I’m not a big fan of the Ultimate comic book line, an animated team on team DVD sounds amazing. The comic book storyline was full of lots of bombastic ideas and double crosses, bringing in Nick Fury’s super hero team to track down Magneto at Xavier’s mansion. Including action in the Savage Land, a Wolverine Vs. Cyclops fight and the Brotherhood of Mutants in addition to the expected throw-down between the X-Men and Avengers, it has a lot going for it as an animated movie. It’s all out fighting and even has some interesting developments for characters that had become rather staid and stale in the monthly comics at the time.
For fans of either franchise this would have been a huge deal and is also something that we are never likely to see in live action due to the legal entanglements with each property. For one thing, it would have been something other than an origin story in animated form such as the Ultimates, Doctor Strange and Iron Man.
Given, the film that ended up going into production was Hulk Vs. which is almost universally lauded, so no real foul. But that kind of proves my point. Fans are less interested in seeing origin stories than they are in seeing all out brawls between characters that they love.
But the possibility of a Beta Ray Bill film comes straight out of nowhere! For a character that gets hardly any love in comics to be thrust into the focus of a cartoon movie is downright astounding. An alien possessing a similar hammer to Mjolnir, Bill has fluttered about in Marvel Comics for the past few years but is aside from a couple if recent mini-series had been all but forgotten to my knowledge.
I had not heard of either of these projects until two days ago, so I have to wonder if word is leaking as a way to test the waters and see if there is any interest worth reviving the film. If so… wow.