DC Comics’ ‘Kingdom Come’ Sets Fall Documentary Release and Crowdfunding Campaign | Exclusive

The completely painted story of Superman rallying a generation of heroes against evil gets explored in the upcoming film

A documentary charting the creation of the 1996 DC Comics story “Kingdom Come” has set a fall 2024 release date, launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and debuted its first teaser trailer, all of which TheWrap can exclusively reveal. “The Legend of Kingdom Come” comes from director by Remsy Atassi and producer Sal Abbinanti, the business manager and art dealer for the comics’ influential artist Alex Ross.

“Kingdom Come” is one of the most acclaimed comic book stories of all time, featuring breathtaking painted art from Ross and a story written by Mark Waid. It tells the tale of a future where young superheroes have taken over but abandoned the fight for good, until Superman is pressed to return from retirement to again bring hope to mankind.

“The Legend of Kingdom Come” documentary will be “an exploration of the mad, relentless dedication that goes into producing this stunning art form – and what it takes for an artist to achieve greatness,” Atassi said in a statement.

You can watch TheWrap’s exclusive teaser trailer for the film above.

An illustration showing a pantheon of superheroes around a table, with other characters in the reflection. Superman stands at the table, looking imposing.
Superman and other characters from “Kingdom Come” in a painting by Alex Ross.

The film promises to detail the story’s origin and will feature both Ross and Waid explaining the thought that went into the story and the graphic novel’s iconic visuals.

“I have loved drawing and reading about superheroes since I was a young child,” Ross said in a statement. “When Mark and I were creating ‘Kingdom Come’ — one of my earliest works — I set out to do exactly what I loved. I brought so much of myself and the people in my life into it.”

The artist’s own father, minister Clark Ross, posed for portraits Alex used to create the story’s point-of-view character, Rev. Norman McKay. He also had friends pose for photos that he used as reference material when illustrating the story.

“I knew it was special, but I had no idea it would have such an impact on comics, pop culture and my career,” Ross added. “I’m so proud that what we made back then still resonates today. I hope people enjoy this film.”

While Waid is an acclaimed storyteller with decades of experience, including acclaimed runs on “Flash” and the oft-referenced origin story “Superman: Birthright,” Ross’ art is what took the story to another level of relevance. The story’s visual appeal helped set it apart from other potential/alternate future stories from the comic world.

“Alex’s creations tap into the essential DNA of superheroes, elevating them to an almost mythic level,” Atassi said. “There is no better example than [‘Kingdom Come’], which is an essential graphic novel because it looks like nothing else yet, has influenced so much.”

“Collaborating with Alex on ‘Kingdom Come’ was a high-water mark in my career,” Waid said. “Watching scenes I’d put on paper come to vibrant life beneath his brush was an unforgettable experience, and I can’t wait for fans to finally get a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at what I consider to be Alex’s greatest work.”

Ross is noted for the painstaking work he puts into his art. The length of time it takes has led to him only illustrating a small number of interior art pages — among them this defining work, as well as a similarly iconic series “Marvels” for Marvel Comics — spending most of his career doing individual images that have served as covers and been sold as fine art pieces.

The filmmakers conducted more than 30 interviews with collaborators and other members of the comic book industry. Other creators interviewed for the film include “Spawn” creator and Image Comics cofounder Todd McFarlane, “Batman: The Animated Series” writer and “Harley Quinn” cocreator Paul Dini, plus TV and comics writing team Julie and Shawna Benson.

Fans have speculated that there may be elements of the “Kingdom Come” mythology at play in 2025’s “Superman” film from writer/director James Gunn. That includes striking similarities between the S-shield emblem on the movie version of the hero’s costume with that of the classic comic miniseries. The “Kingdom Come” take on the character also influenced Brandon Routh’s reprise of his role as Superman when he portrayed the character in The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.

“Alex Ross can take almost any person and make them into a comic fan,” Atassi said. “When I met Alex in 2016 he did it to me.”

The pre-Kickstarter launch page for “The Legend of Kingdom Come” is online here. The team behind the project have asked for fans to sign up for alerts on the film and when the crowdfunding campaign goes live later in 2024.

Fans will also be able to find out more about “The Legend of Kingdom Come” at San Diego Comic-Con later this month in a panel moderated by TheWrap’s Mike Roe, featuring the classic story’s creators and more.

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