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7 Franchises that Should Make a Spider-Verse Style Animated Film – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

7 Franchises that Should Make a Spider-Verse Style Animated Film



Over the last few years, the boundaries of big-budget animated movies produced by the Hollywood studio system have expanded substantially. While North American animation has been primarily considered a genre of movies geared towards children, recent successes of Japanese anime films like Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train and Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, as well as Hollywood productions like Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, have shown that animation can be much more than that. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is one of the biggest hits of the year so far, with a box office opening that exceeded Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and almost tripled that of the first Spider-Verse film. These successes have paved the way for a wider appreciation for animation in the West.

As all the major studios begin to explore big-budget and adult-skewing animation, there are seven major franchises that would benefit from an animated film inspired by the likes of the Spider-Verse movies.

Firstly, the Harry Potter franchise could thrive in animation, with plenty of other stories to tell within the world of the wizarding world. With its fantastical creatures and magical battles, it could make for incredible animation.

Secondly, The Matrix has already experimented with animation in the form of The Animatrix, which was well-received by audiences. An animated Matrix film could be phenomenal if given the time, care, and budget it deserves.

Thirdly, Star Wars has already expanded into animation with successful series like The Clone Wars and Rebels. A new big-screen animated adventure through the galaxy far, far away could introduce this corner of the franchise to a wider audience.

Fourthly, the Pokémon franchise, with its immense popularity and success, would be a great fit for a wide-release animated film that does justice to the brand.

Fifthly, DC should take a page out of Marvel’s book and produce a big-budget animated film featuring some of its core characters. Green Lantern would be a great fit for the medium.

Sixthly, Warner Bros. Pictures is looking to expand its Lord of the Rings franchise, and we already know that there is an animated film in development to serve as a spin-off and prequel to Peter Jackson’s trilogy. The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim will be an anime-styled film set for release in April 2024.

Lastly, the Transformers franchise has a long history with animation, and a prequel set on Cybertron exploring the initial conflicts between Optimus Prime and Megatron is already in production.

In conclusion, these seven major franchises could benefit greatly from big-budget animated films that show audiences that animation can be much more than just a genre of movies for kids. With the success of recent animated films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the potential for animation to tell adult stories with stunning visuals is limitless.

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The boundaries of what a big-budget animated movie produced by the Hollywood studio system can be, have expanded substantially over the last few years. For decades, North American animation has primarily been considered to be a genre of movies geared toward children. While there’s no denying that there have been, and continue to be, a lot of animated movies meant for kids, the medium of animation can be so much more than that. While animation from other parts of the world, namely Japan, has embraced more adult stories in the past, Hollywood is just starting to catch up.


In addition to the recent North American box office successes of Japanese anime films such as Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train and Dragon Ball Super: Super Heroother big-budget animated films from Hollywood like Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse have been paving the way for a wider appreciation for animation in the West.

Just recently, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Versebecame one of the biggest hits of the year so far. The Spider-Verse sequel opened with $120 million in North America, which is higher than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in early May and nearly three and a half times what the first Spider-Verse film opened to five years ago. The Spider-Verse films have proven to be a huge success, and they have shown general audiences that animation can be so much more than the latest Despicable Me movie. As all the major studies begin to look for ways they can jump into this realm of big-budget and adult-skewing animation, here are seven major franchises that could really benefit from an animated film inspired by the likes of the Spider-Verse movies.

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7 Wizarding World

A scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. has been trying to figure out how it should move forward with Harry Potter and the broader Wizarding World franchise after the failure of the Fantastic Beasts movies and the numerous controversies surrounding the series’ creator J.K. Rowling. While they’ve already announced a rebooted telling of the core Harry Potter films in the form of a Max original series, an animated film could be another great idea.

There are plenty of other stories to tell within the world of Harry Potterand it’s a franchise that could thrive in animation. While the various fantastical creatures and battles between wizards and witches in the existing Harry Potter films were certainly impressive, those elements could make for some truly incredible animation.

6 The Matrix

The Matrix anime film The Animatrix
Warner Home Video

Believe it or not, The Matrix has already delved into the realm of animation a bit with an anime film titled The Animatrix 20 years ago. That film is even pretty well-liked by the people who have seen it, but there’s no denying that it’s not nearly as well-known as the core Matrix films. WB has already demonstrated a desire to keep the Matrix series going with the release of The Matrix Resurrections in 2021, so it’s not a big stretch to imagine the studio revisiting the franchise again.

If an animated Matrix film were given the time, care, and budget it needs, such a movie could be absolutely phenomenal.

5 Star Wars

Ahsoka in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+
Disney Platform Distribution

Star Wars has already expanded into the medium of animation pretty thoroughly through series like The Clone Wars, Rebels, The Bad Batch, Visions, and more. As all of these shows have proven, the Star Wars franchise is a perfect fit for animation. The medium has allowed the series to explore its universe in all sorts of new ways, as it can really embrace the major science fiction and fantasy elements of its galaxy.

While the 2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars film may leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth, we believe it’s time for the franchise to revisit the idea of theatrically released animated films. Star Wars has produced some truly outstanding animation in recent years, especially through shows like The Bad Batch and Visionsand a new big-screen animated adventure through the galaxy far, far away could introduce this corner of the franchise to a wider audience.

Related: Rebels: Why the Animated Star Wars Series is a Must-Watch TV Show

4 Pokémon

Cover art for Pokemon Legends Arceus
The Pokemon Company

The Pokémon series is one of the most widely beloved and successful franchises in the world. With countless video games, animated films, card games and more having been produced over the last three decades, Pokémon has really grown into a brand with immense power. The series has already produced 23 animated feature films, but very few of them have received theatrical releases outside of Japan, and they are often considered (often unjustly) to be generic direct-to-video movies.

The Pokémon Company has already partnered with WB for the live-action film Detective Pikachu in 2019, and we’d love to see the two work together to produce a wide-release Pokémon animated film that could really do justice to the franchise.

3 Green Lantern

Green Lantern: Beware My Power in Tomorrowverse
Warner Bros. Animation

Considering Marvel is currently finding a lot of box office success with the Spider-Verse films, it seems obvious that DC should want to get in on this as well. Now, DC has already produced a number of great animated films but, just like Pokémon, a vast majority of them have been direct-to-video. We would love to see WB and DC Studios, led by James Gunn and Peter Safran, take a page out of the Spider-Verse playbook and bring some of their core characters to life in the realm of a big-budget animated film.

While Gunn has already promised some animation in the new DCU, it has generally been assumed that will be in the form of animated series. However, if they do branch out with an animated film, we think that Green Lantern in particular would be a great fit for the medium.

2 The Lord of the Rings

Concept art for The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim shows Helm Hammerhand
Warner Bros. Pictures

Just a few months ago, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav made headlines when he said that the studio was looking to expand its Lord of the Rings franchise into a series similar to Star Wars. This means that there are likely numerous different films and series set within J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth in development. Thankfully, we already know that at least one of them is an animated film.

The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an anime-styled animated film that will serve as a sort of spin-off and prequel to Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The film is set for release theatrically in April 2024, and we have high hopes that this animated adaptation of Tolkien’s world will take the franchise in an exciting new direction.

Related: The Lord of the Rings: Revisiting Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 Animated Film

1 Transformers

Soundwave Transformers
IDW Publications

Finally, the Transformers franchise has a long history with the medium of animation. Coinciding with the release of the Hasbro toys, the Transformers animated series from the 1980s is largely responsible for establishing the massive brand. While the franchise has diverted pretty strongly into live-action since the Michael Bay films of the 2000s, we think it’s about time the franchise goes back to its roots.

Similarly to The Lord of the Ringswe thankfully won’t have to wait too long, as a theatrical Transformers animated film is already in production. The film, titled Transformers Oneis set for release in the summer of 2024, and it will be a prequel set on Cybertron that will explore the initial conflicts between Optimus Prime and Megatron.

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