Amazon has made a mighty embrace of the Critical Role cinematic universe.
Amazon Studios announced a multiyear exclusive overall TV and first-look film deal with Critical Role, the media company and D&D role-playing group behind Prime Video’s popular adult animation series “The Legend of Vox Machina.”
The first new series to be produced under the agreement is “Mighty Nein,” based on Critical Role’s second campaign, which ran from January 2018 to mid-2021. The Mighty Nein adventuring party — a band of criminals and misfits — are the only ones who can prevent the kingdom from plunging into chaos when an arcane artifact capable of reshaping reality falls into the wrong hands. “Mighty Nein” is set to begin production shortly in partnership with animation studio Titmouse, which has teamed with Critical Role and Amazon Studios for “Vox Machina.” The series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video, but there’s no release date as yet.
Critical Role’s first animated series, “The Legend of Vox Machina,” is based on its first D&D campaign, which the group livestreamed from 2015-17. Season 1 premiered in January 2022 on Prime Video (and still holds a 100% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes), and Season Two debuted with the first three episodes on Jan. 20. A third season of “Vox Machina” was officially announced at New York Comic Con and is currently in production.
Under the deal with Amazon Studios, Critical Role will continue to produce under its production banner, Metapigeon, which will develop its own original TV shows, films and content while continuing to “partner with talented creatives on a new slate of projects, both in and outside of the Critical Role universe,” according to the companies.
“With the success of our animated series ‘The Legend of Vox Machina,’ we are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Critical Role and expanding its universe with ‘Mighty Nein,’” said Vernon Sanders, head of global TV at Amazon Studios. “Expanding these iconic franchises for our global Prime Video customers continues to be an ambitious and rewarding journey and we are eager to see where this new series takes us.”
Travis Willingham, co-founder and CEO of Critical Role, said, “Critical Role’s livestream campaigns are the spark that lit the flame for our worldwide audience. Seeing the stories and characters from our first campaign come to life in ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ was a dream realized, and we are absolutely buzzing with excitement to do it again with ‘Mighty Nein.’ But with today’s announcement, we’re confident that the stories we tell will keep expanding into realms of entertainment beyond what we can even imagine.”
The forthcoming “Mighty Nein” series will be executive produced by Tasha Huo, Sam Riegel and Willingham alongside 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 pacted with Critical Role in 2019, securing a two-season order for “Vox Machina” after CR’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign for their first animation project.
Critical Role started out in 2012 as a private D&D game-night among a group of friends in L.A. who are all voice actors. Since then, Critical Role — whose avid fans are affectionately known as “Critters” — has expanded into multiple lines of business. In addition to “The Legend of Vox Machina” on Prime Video, that has included comic books, graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction books on the New York Times bestsellers list, collectibles, tabletop 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