Disney XD is starting up a complete Marvel Universe programming block devoted to its Marvel properties this spring.
It's taken long enough to make its way to the screen, but the long discussed (and seemingly long-in-development) Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon is on its way in April on Disney XD as part of the Marvel Universe block. You might recall that kid TV vet Drake Bell will be voicing Peter Parker/Spider-Man in a slightly younger-skewing take on the character masterminded by the Marvel brain trust including longtime Ultimate Spider-Man comic writer Brian Michael Bendis as well as the creative collective known as Man of Action who are working behind the scenes as producers on the show.
But that's not all! I mentioned above that Disney's planning a whole programming block, similar DC's own chunk of programming that's due to launch sometime this year on Cartoon Network around Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Marvel is taking a similar tack with regular series (USM, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) anchoring live action interstitials and live-action shorts. Of course it all flows nicely with the summer film premieres of both The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Here's a nice chunk of the press release as well as some of the talent lined up for USM when it makes its April debut:
Marsh said, "Iconic Marvel heroes and villains and stories with core values of accomplishment, discovery and growth make Marvel Universe a perfect complement to Disney XD and a destination for parents and kids to experience together."
"Marvel Universe block is an incredible animated ride filled with fantastic action and adventure," said Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television. "The spectacular team of writers and animators capture stories with all the dynamic fun you can imagine. Disney XD is the perfect place for families and Marvel fans of all ages to come together every Sunday."
Acting as the keystone of the Marvel Universe block, "Ultimate Spider-Man" features a teenage Peter Parker juggling the typical growing pains of high-school with the not-so-typical growing pains of being a Super Hero. As the newest member of Nick Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, Peter finds himself on a team with four other teenage Super Heroes.
Produced by Marvel Animation, the series' award-winning creative team includes Joe Quesada (Marvel's CCO), Paul Dini ("Batman: The Animated Series," "Lost"), the creative powerhouse Man of Action Studios (creators of "Ben 10" and "Generator Rex"), comprised of lauded creators Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle; and Brian Michael Bendis (visionary behind Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man comic series).
The voice cast includes Drake Bell ("Superhero," "Drake & Josh") as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Chi McBride ("Boston Public," "Pushing Daisies") as Nick Fury, JK Simmons ("Spider-Man") as J. Jonah Jameson, Stan Lee ("Spider-Man") as Stan the Janitor, Clark Gregg ("Iron Man", "Thor," "The Avengers") as Agent Coulson and Steven Weber ("Wings") as Norman Osborn.