WB’s Blue Ribbon Content, Amuse USA producing hybrid live-action/animation series
Japanese pop-metal phenoms Babymetal will be featured in a hybrid live-action/animated action-adventure short-form series from Warner Bros.’ Blue Ribbon Content digital studio and artist-management firm Amuse USA.
The untitled Babymetal project is currently in development, and the series hasn’t been sold yet. A Warner Bros. rep says it is in ongoing talks with multiple distribution outlets.
The teenage singing trio — Yui Mizuno (“Yuimetal”), Suzuka Nakamoto (“Su-metal”) and Moa Kikuchi (“Moametal”) — has shot to worldwide fame, combining heavy-metal instrumentation with sugary (and sometimes shrieky) vocals and flashy stage theatrics and choreography. In December, the group will open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the funk-rock band’s first U.K. tour in five years.
In the series, when a magical world of heavy-metal music comes under attack, one lonely god, Kitsune, forms the warrior band Babymetal to save the day. The series will feature new live-action performances from Babymetal, and the girls will enter the animated world through a secret portal. The group’s manager and creator, Key Kobayashi (aka “Kobametal”), is also producing.
“Babymetal have to be seen to be believed — a mind-blowing, fun combination of pop vocals, heavy-metal music and dance choreography brought to life by three incredibly talented teenage stars,” said Sam Register, president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series. “We are huge fans here at Blue Ribbon Content and are extremely excited to help bring the Babymetal phenomenon to U.S. audiences through this upcoming digital series.”
Babymetal, which formed in 2010, has achieved two major debut singles, both of which ranked in the Top 10 Oricon chart in Japan. Their self-titled first studio album hit the top spot on Billboard’s World Album chart, and the official music video for the album’s lead single, “Gimme Chocolate!!,” has garnered more than 60 million views on YouTube. With their second album, “Metal Resistance,” they became the first Japanese act to make the Billboard 200 album chart’s Top 40 in more than 50 years.
Formed by Warner Bros. in 2014, Blue Ribbon Content develops and produces live-action series and animated content for digital platforms. BRC programs include the “Now We’re Talking” in partnership with LeBron James’ Uninterrupted for Verizon Go90; “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” for Machinima; “Vixen” and the upcoming “Freedom Fighters: The Ray” for CW Seed; and “Batman: The Animated Series” virtual-reality experience with OTOY Inc. for Mattel’s View-Master.
Pictured above (l. to r.): Babymetal members Yui Mizuno (“Yuimetal”), Suzuka Nakamoto (“Su-metal”) and Moa Kikuchi (“Moametal”)