Under a licensing pact with Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment, Serial Box is creating original scripted shows based on the two characters. In “Batman: The Blind Cut,” the Caped Crusader grapples with the fact that he is actually part of the 1%. “Wonder Woman: Heartless” centers on Diana Prince dealing with the consequences of a politically divided public responding to a series of high-profile murders — and finding her belief in the justice system challenged in the process.
Serial Box said the new Batman and Wonder Woman stories will premiere in the spring of 2021, priced at $9.99 for the full seasons (with the price of single episodes still TBD). They will be available on mobile devices through Serial Box’s apps. Under the company’s model, the first episodes of stories are free to listen to; subsequent episodes cost $1.99 each.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and DC have a multiyear pact with Spotify for exclusive narrative scripted podcasts. The first of those is “Batman Unburied,” a podcast drama exploring “the darker aspects” of Bruce Wayne from David S. Goyer, set to debut on Spotify next year.
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“Wonder Woman: Heartless” will be the first of the DC original sagas to be released on Serial Box. The story pits Diana Prince, Jill Carlyle (Crimson Avenger) and British archeologist Dr. Barbara Minerva against two sisters — one a serial killer who is terrorizing Washington, D.C., by magically seizing the hearts of her victims, and the other whose powers might potentially be used to stop the killing streak.
The writing team for “Wonder Woman: Heartless” includes Natalie C. Parker (“Seafire” trilogy, “Beware the Wild”), Tessa Gratton (“Strange Grace,” “The Queens of Innis Lear,” “Lady Hotspur”), Alaya Dawn Johnson (“Trouble the Saints,” “Love Is The Drug,” “The Summer Prince”), and Heidi Heilig (“The Girl From Everywhere,” “For a Muse of Fire,” “A Kingdom for a Stage”). Serial Box head of content Hayley Wagreich will produce with VP of content development Rhoda Belleza.
“Batman: The Blind Cut” follows the Caped Crusader and Zatanna as they join forces against a terrifying adversary who enacts a bold plan to bring Gotham City to its knees. The writing team is led by bestselling author Catherynne Valente (“Palimpsest,” “Deathless,” the “Fairyland” novels), and includes K Arsenault Rivera (“Knox,” “The Tiger’s Daughter,” “The Warrior Moon”) and Martin Cahill (“Bear Language,” “It Was Never the Fire”). Serial Box’s Wagreich will produce alongside VP of content Marco Palmieri.
“We are honored to be entrusted with developing original stories for Batman and Wonder Woman, characters with rich histories and strong fan allegiance,” said Serial Box co-founder and CEO Molly Barton. “Our talented writing teams have crafted thrilling new adventures linked to character origins and relevant to our challenging times.”
Separately, Serial Box last year inked a pact with Disney’s Marvel and has released stories featuring Thor, Jessica Jones and Black Widow, with another centered on Black Panther in the works. Other Serial Box best-selling titles include “Ninth Step Station,” “Orphan Black: The Next Chapter” and “The Vela.”
Founded in 2015, Serial Box releases new chapters of its serialized stories weekly in “seasons” that typically run 10-16 weeks. Users can choose to either read or listen to the stories. In audio format, Serial Box’s stories feature soundscapes with single-voice narration, original music and sound effects to “create a truly immersive story experience,” the company says.