Announced way back in the fall of 2010
, Tom Hanks' new animated series "Electric City" will finally see the light of day as a streaming feature on Yahoo. The recently announced partnership marks the first time the Internet search portal has spent any cash on narrative storytelling.
Hanks, 55, told The new York Times
that he had a vision for the series several years ago, imagining it as “a very gripping, almost film-noir, very serious look at a future that was not a dysfunctional dystopia that an awful lot of the future things are.” According to The Hollywood Reporter
, the actor will voice the lead character for the series, which is expected to be 20 episodes long and lasting roughly four minutes each.
"Electric City" touches upon "relevant global issues and themes including energy consumption, freedom of information, crime and punishment and more," Yahoo said in a statement. "The story unfolds gradually, layering mystery upon mystery, inviting viewers to interact with the content and each other."
Hanks' new series marks the beginning of ambitious plans by Yahoo to branch out and become an incubator for original programming. If successful online, the "Electric City" franchise may then branch out to more traditional outlets like television and full-length features.
"Yahoo! has clearly established itself as the go-to destination for big events and breaking news and we are focused on providing the best digital canvas for the world's greatest storytellers to create, develop and showcase their visions," said Ross Levinsohn, EVP Americas for Yahoo!. "'Electric City' is further proof that we want to set the bar in premium online content and be the global home for groundbreaking ventures from the world's best-known and next-generation artists."
Hanks and Levinsohn will take to the stage later this week to privately preview scenes from "Electric City" to the press. The full online series is expected to debut on Yahoo this spring.