Amazon has vigorously embraced the Critical Role cinematic universe.
Amazon Studios has announced a multi-year exclusive first-run TV and film deal with Critical Role, the media company and D&D role-playing team behind Prime Video’s popular adult animated series The Legend of Vox Machina.
The first new series to be produced under the deal is ‘Mighty Nein’, based on Critical Role’s second campaign, which ran from January 2018 to mid-2021. The Mighty Nein Adventure Party – a gang of criminals and misfits – they are the only ones who can prevent the kingdom from descending into chaos when an arcane artifact capable of reshaping reality falls into the wrong hands. “Mighty Nein” is set to begin production soon in collaboration with animation studio Titmouse, which has worked with Critical Role and Amazon Studios on “Vox Machina.” The series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video, but there is no release date yet.
Critical Role’s first animated series, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” is based on its first D&D campaign, which the group ran live from 2015-17. Season 1 premiered in January 2022 on Prime Video (and still has a 100% review rating on Rotten Tomatoes), and season two debuted with its first three episodes on January 20. The third season of “Vox Machina” was officially announced at New York Comic Con and is currently in production.
As part of the agreement with Amazon Studios, Critical Role will continue to produce under its production arm, Metapigeon, which will develop its own original TV shows, movies and content, while continuing to “collaborate with talented creatives in a new series of projects, both in and outside the Critical Role universe,” according to the companies.
“With the success of our animated series ‘The Legend of Vox Machina,’ we look forward to continuing our relationship with Critical Role and expanding its universe with ‘Mighty Nein,'” said Vernon Sanders, Head of Global Television at Amazon Studios. “Expanding these iconic franchises for our global Prime Video customers continues to be an ambitious and rewarding journey, and we look forward to seeing where this new series takes us.”
Travis Willingham, co-founder and CEO of Critical Role, said: “Critical Role’s live streaming campaigns are the spark that lit the flame for our global audience. Seeing the stories and characters from our first campaign come to life in “The Legend of Vox Machina” was a dream come true, and we’re absolutely thrilled to do it again with “Mighty Nein.” But with today’s announcement, we’re confident that the stories we tell will continue to expand into realms of entertainment beyond what we can even imagine.”
The upcoming series “Mighty Nein” will be executive produced by Tasha Huo, Sam Riegel and Willingham along with Metapigeon and Amazon Studios. From Titmouse, Chris Prynoski (“Legend of Vox Machina”), Shannon Prynoski (“Fairfax”), Antonio Canobbio (“Arlo the Alligator Boy”) and Ben Kalina (“Big Mouth”) will also executive produce.
Amazon Studios first agreed to Critical Role in 2019, securing a two-season order for “Vox Machina” following CR’s Kickstarter campaign for their first animated project.
Critical Role started in 2012 as a private D&D game between a group of friends in Los Angeles who are all voice actors. Since then, Critical Role – whose avid fans are affectionately known as “Critters” – has expanded into multiple fields of activity. In addition to “The Legend of Vox Machina” on Prime Video, it has included comics, graphic novels, New York Times bestselling fiction and non-fiction books, collectibles, board games and role-playing games, podcasts and live events.
Watch Amazon’s announcement video for the “Mighty Nein” series:
Pictured above (l. to .r): Critical Role Founders Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Marisha Ray, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Sam Riegel, Matthew Mercer, Ashley Johnson