A surprise announcement this morning (November 5) revealed that Marvel and Lego are releasing a five-episode series titled "Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload" to Disney.com, Disney's YouTube Channel, and across Roku and Xbox TV apps. Moreover, all five episodes are hitting online simultaneously today.
Based in part on the Lego Marvel Super Heroes video game and related toy sets, the series shows what happens when Loki starts throwing magical snowballs at the Marvel villains, giving the "Overload" powers to attack the Marvel heroes. It's a mix of comedy and action, well in line with the Marvel Lego property.
To find out more about the genesis of the series (and whether it might be heading to TV), MTV News hopped on the phone with executive producer Cort Lane.
"Ultimately, it was just really about LEGO," Lane said about the origin of the series. "We've become such a great toy partner with them in the last two years that it was time for them to do some Marvel content. They came to us, and they wanted to do something special, and I had the unique opportunity to work on it from the very beginning."
The whole process of making the series from start to finish took about a year, including animation, voice recording, scoring and, of course, writing. On that end, writer Matt Wayne had to tackle the unique challenge of making something that could work as five mini-sode size chunks, as well as a 22-minute special. The reason for that? The show will be going up later on Tuesday as one chunk on Netflix. The natural progression, of course, is to head to either Disney Channel, or Disney XD. Lane would neither confirm nor deny, though he added, "That is the hope."
On a different note, Lane explained that the special was something that could really only happen at Marvel.
"It's a combination of assets from the video games, and assets from our own shows, which are actually generated in CG, the sets and vehicles," Lane said. Not only that, but Lane also pulled liberally from Marvel Animated's voice talent, which includes J.K. Simmons reprising his role as Spider-Man foil J. Jonah Jameson and the one and only Stan Lee as, well, Stan Lee.
"Marvel is incredibly synergistic," Lane added. "I work with the video game folks, recommending actors that play characters in our shows for the video games. So the character portrayals are pretty consistent across all platforms. The actor who plays Loki, Troy Baker, who is a major character in the LEGO/Marvel video game, also plays him on our animated shows, and plays him here in this animated special."
So what about more Lego Marvel specials, or even a weekly TV series? Laughing, Lane said that, "I would love nothing more, because this project was the most fun I've had in a long time. But let's see how the audience reacts to them initially. ... We did a co-branded 'Phineas and Ferb' special this summer, but this is an even further step for us. Let's see how this co-branded content experience works, and if Marvel fans love it as much as we do, then hopefully yes, there could be more."
You can watch all five episodes of "Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload" right now on Disney.com.