Batman: The Animated Series’ Bruce Timm is returning to DC for Batman: Soul of the Dragon, an animated film from Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment that takes the Dark Knight of Gotham City on a trip to the 1970s.
According to THR, Soul of the Dragon is not based on any previous source material. Instead, it’s an original story”[that] sees Bruce Wayne face a deadly menace from his past, with the help of three former classmates: world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner and Lady Shiva.”
Soul of the Dragon is executive produced by Timm and directed and produced by DC animation veteran Sam Liu from a script by Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge writer Jeremy Adams.
Directed by Sam Liu and executive produced by Bruce Timm, Batman: Soul of the Dragon stars David Giuntoli as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Mark Dacascos as Richard Dragon, Kelly Hu as Lady Shiva, Michael Jai White as Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger, James Hong as O-Sensei and Josh Keaton as Jeffrey Burr. The film arrives in 2021.
We are living in a different world to the 70’s. Now we have a cinematic universe of comic book films and a near bottomless source of super heroic media. In the 70’s, it was all about Super Friends (aside from the Hulk and Wonder Woman TV series), a family-friendly cartoon featuring the Justice League of America solving mysteries and averting catastrophes. The series ruled the Saturday morning slot and developed over time to include the Legion of Doom, an evil answer to the Justice League.
The short video for Cartoon Network builds upon the frankly lightweight material of Super Friends, turning it into a march of drama and heroics. It’s a great little short and one that solidifies my love for that goofy cartoon of yesteryear.
The ultimate team of superheroes, often called a superheroic pantheon, the Justice League was a clever way to combine several top selling characters in one book. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter were the initial lineup and while there have been many iterations, the Big Seven remains the ideal team. Each issue was split into separate parts that focused on pairings of heroes to tackle a particular problem with the final part seeing the entire team tackle the deadliest of foes. It was a proven model that JLA writer Gardner Fox had enacted way back in the pages of the JLA’s precursor, the Justice Society of America.
It seemed only fitting that a teen version of the JLA would be a surefire hit and Robin led a team of Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Speedy and Aqualad. The series remains a cult hit, mainly due to the exemplary artwork of Nick Cardy, but it was the ‘New’ Teen Titans that saw the group meet explosive success. Alongside Robin, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl were new heroes Cyborg, Starfire and Raven. Additionally, the shape-shifting orphan Beast Boy was included as Changeling. In the 80’s, the New Teen Titans was DC’s hot series, on par with Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men.
In animated form, both the JLA and Teen Titans have been adapted several times from Super Friends to Teen Titans Go all the way to Justice League Unlimited and (the oft-overlooked) Young Justice. A new animated feature will see the teams set against each other in a feature length animated movie. I have mixed feelings about their cinematic endeavors, but on the home entertainment direct-to-video world, DC Entertainment has produced the best cartoons.
Stand-out DC Animated features include New Frontier, Under the Red Hood, the Son of Batman/Batman Vs. Robin/Bad Blood trilogy and Earth Two, but there is so much more. Wonder Woman and Green Lantern were also presented in ways that eclipsed other attempts in live action. A Teen Titans animated feature has been hinted at for years so expect the animators to go all out.
The movie is being directed by Sam Miu with James Tucker on board as supervising producer.
The voice cast includes:
Jon Bernthal (Walking Dead, Dardevil, Punisher) as Trigon, described as “a ruthless demon who shares a long comic book history with the Teen Titans.”
Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) as Raven, a member of the Titans and daughter to Trigon.
Jake T. Austin (The Fosters) as Blue Beetle; Brandon Soo Hoo (From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) as Beast Boy; Kari Wahlgren (Phineas and Ferb) as Starfire; Shemar Moore as Cyborg, Sean Maher as Nightwing; Jason O’Mara as Batman; Jerry O’Connell as Superman; Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, and Christopher Gorham as The Flash.
Justice League Vs. Teen Titans arrives this Spring with the story about: Robin gets sent to work with the Titans after his volatile behavior botches a Justice League mission. The young team then must really step up to face Trigon after he possesses the League and threatens to conquer the world.
The original story is written by Bryan Q. Miller (Smallville and Defiance), with the script by Milller and Alan Burnett; Phil Bourassa did the character designs, and Sam Register is executive producer.
A symbol that criminals fear, Batman is nonetheless mortal. His legacy, however, has created a family of heroes who rise to the challenge and defend Gotham City for the forces of evil… if they don’t kill each other first.
Building on Son of Batman and Batman Vs Robin comes Bad Blood, an animated film that will blend several story lines from R.I.P., Batman Inc. and more. Featuring a gang that leads to the ‘death’ of Batman, Bad Blood sees a race to fill the gap left by the dark knight detective. When Nightwing dons the cowl, Damian Wayne becomes a surly sidekick as Batwoman is a relative outsider in the war on crime. All three are joined by a new hero, Batwing. But are four heroes enough to fill the shoes of Batman?
Bad Blood will see several actors return to the roles with Jason O’Mara making his fifth outing as Batman, Sean Maher once more voicing Nightwing and Stuart Allan providing the petulent tones of Robin. This film will also introduce Ernie Hudson as Lucious Fox, Gaius Charles as Batwing and Yvonne Strhovski as Batwoman. Several villains will make an appearance including Brick, Electrocutioner, Firefly, and of course ‘The Heretic.’
(excuse the many cut outs in the video, this can also be seen in the Justice League: Gods and Monsters release)
Produced by James Tucker, Bad Blood is a film that explores the Bat-Family dynamic through an action-packed adventure. While that Batman is missing from the monthly comics (unless you are reading the outstanding Batman ’66), the animated features have held the torch high for the caped crusader.
The third in a series of Bat-themed animated stories, Bad Blood has a TBA 2016 street date
They are a power-mad alien with the strength to topple buildings, a blood-thirsty demon and a new god from another world. They are the Justice League. Someone has framed them for murder and that is a crime that cannot be tolerated.
The team behind such successful animated programs such as Batman, Superman, the Justice League and more; Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, have united once more Justice League: Gods and Monsters. This will be a darker vision of the familiar heroes, set in another reality.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS centers around the murder of prominent DC Universe scientists like Ray Palmer, Victor Fries, Silas Stone and others that the Justice League is being framed for. They attempt to investigate these murders while dealing with mounting pressures from outside sources.
The inspiration for this new vision comes from the Silver Age reboot that introduced new versions of the Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom and Hawkman among others. The team decided to instead go big and re-imagine the trinity of the DCU, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
A special preview of the latest direct animated feature Batman Vs Robin release next week. There will also be a digital mini-series ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles’ on Machinima before the Gods and Monsters movie arrives later this year.
Click here for the first look which includes an interview with the production team.
Today marks the birthday of Aquaman, the King of the Seven Seas and oft-forgotten member of the Justice League. To celebrate, DC Animation has released Throne of Atlantis, an animated film that loosely adapts an Aquaman-centric comic book story line.
This should be a great and timely thing as Aquaman is in dire need of some attention. While the Flash and Green Arrow have become household heroes alongside Superman and Batman, Aquaman has been biding his time. Traditionally, the DC animated films have been very impressive and lauded by fans of the characters. But there has been a decisive move for the films to more closely mirror the comic books on the shelf. This is the fourth film to follow this direction (ironic as the comic book world is set for a massive reshuffle in Convergence).
The desire to create a cohesive animated universe that follows a narrative is a noble approach and one that is long overdue. However, the ‘New 52’ versions of the superheroes are decidedly contemporary… which has been interpreted by DC Editorial as being street-level ‘dudes’ rather than the mythological icons. Therefore instead of the traditionally noble sovereign of the deep, Aquaman is a hard-drinking, bar-room fighting fatherless dude wallowing in grief with beer and a gruff dismissive attitude to the world (with the exception of a lobster).
In short, Aquaman is hardly heroic. He’s a wreck. Likewise the Justice League are self-interested thugs with all the grace of a bull in a China shop. Superman and Wonder Woman are distracted by a budding romance, Green Lantern is more concerned with dating and upstaging his teammates than saving the world, Cyborg is an angst-ridden mess who is losing more of his humanity with every upgrade to his system, Batman is a detective whose super power is for clues to fall in his lap and a super jet with the explosive power and precision of a Michael Bay film and Captain Marvel has the power of an entire pantheon of Gods and the personality of a goofy child. The Flash is the only exception to this group of oddballs with equal parts super ability, smarts, courage and humanity.
All that considered (because the film is limited by its setting, tone and characters), Throne of Atlantis is impressive. It’s not as enjoyable as its predecessor, War, but the mixture of tones (Cyborg’s drama, Aquaman’s soul searching and the insidious Orm’s war-mongering) keeps things interesting. Throne of Atlantis combines an origin story with a disaster/invasion flick as the Justice League bickers internally only to rise to the occasion in the end.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
Throne of Atlantis, like just about all of the DC animated films, is not for kids. It just doesn’t have an appeal or a tone that kids would find entertaining. As a parent, I’m a little concerned that these movies are placed next to Finding Nemo and Adventure Time DVDs in Target stores. Under the Red Hood, Dark Knight Returns and Assault on Arkham are all hyper-violent movies with a very specific audience and could (in my opinion) only cause trauma for kids or turn them off from comic books entirely. It’s like giving a 6 year old a Grand Theft Auto game for their birthday.
If you are looking for a child-friendly superhero movie, this is not it. I do recommend Trapped in Time (a far more fun-loving adventure). If you enjoy comic books and are open to contemporary interpretations of time-honored heroes, Throne of Atlantis is worth a look.
Personally, I’m more looking forward to Batman Vs Robin.
GET READY FOR THE NEXT ALL-NEW DC UNIVERSE ORIGINAL MOVIE Batman vs. Robin
ON BLU-RAYTM COMBO PACK, DVD and DIGITAL HD ON APRIL 14, 2015 WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Inspired by the #1 Best-Selling Graphic Novel, Batman: The Court of Owls
BURBANK, CA (January 20, 2015) – The world is turned upside down when one of the world’s greatest super heroes – Batman – finds himself under attack by his own son in the newest DC Universe Original Movie – Batman vs. Robin. This all-new original film arrives April 14, 2015 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray™ Deluxe Edition, Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD. The brand-new product offering, Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition, will include the Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack, along with a Batman figurine in a gift set.
Batman vs. Robin will be available on Blu-rayTM Deluxe Edition for $29.96, Blu-rayTM Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP and on DVD for $19.98 SRP. The Blu-rayTM Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own Batman vs. Robin in Digital HD on April 14 via purchase from digital retailers.
The shadows of Gotham City are no place for a child but Damian Wayne is no ordinary child. Now bearing the mantle of Robin, he blazes a headstrong and sometimes reckless trail alongside his father, Batman. While investigating a crime scene, Robin encounters a mysterious figure, Talon, who leads him on a life-altering course through the depths of Gotham’s secret society, known as The Court of Owls. It’s a dangerous journey that will force Batman and Robin to face their most dangerous adversary, each other! Based on the #1 best-selling graphic novel, Batman: The Court of Owls, this action-packed caper is one that fans won’t want to miss!
“Batman vs. Robin has all the elements of a memorable film – powerful villains, treacherous plot twists and tensions amongst allies,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “Showcasing a fantastic voice cast, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is proud to release Batman vs. Robin as the next DC Universe Original Movie.”
Television stars Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, USA Network’s upcoming Complications) and Stuart Allan (Son of Batman) reprise their roles as the voices of Batman/Bruce Wayne and Robin/Damian, respectively. Adding to the celebrity-laden voice cast is Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order, Suburgatory) as Talon, singer/songwriter/comedian Al Yankovic as The Dollmaker, David McCallum (NCIS) as Alfred, Grey Griffin (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) as Samantha, Sean Maher (Serenity) as Nightwing, and Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Thomas Wayne.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the film is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman: Assault on Arkham) from a script by award-winning comic writer J.M. DeMatteis. James Tucker (Justice League: Throne of Atlantis) is supervising producer.
BLU-RAY AND DVD BONUS CONTENT
Batman vs. Robin Blu-rayTM and Blu-rayTM Deluxe Edition contain the following special features:
Gotham’s City Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls – The Court of Owls is the secret society that directly connects the past of Gotham to the current city. Are they silent guardians that are the noble benefactors or are they the malevolent force that manipulates a city toward their grand design?
Talons of the Owl – If the Owls are the masterminds, their instruments of destruction are their assassins. Appropriately called The Talons, these warriors are designed to carry out the will of the Owls.
Batman Vs. Robin Audio Commentary
A Sneak Peak at Justice League: Gods & Monsters – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault
Batman vs. Robin DVD contains the following special features:
A Sneak Peak at Justice League: Gods & Monsters – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators.
Following Son of Batman and, the latest DC animated feature starring the dark knight detective will be loosely based on the ‘Curt of Owls’ story-line from the New 52 line (and hopefully not include a death for the boy wonder). The Court of Owls story that ran through the Batman comics established a secret fraternity that has roosted within Gotham City, unseen and unheard, for generations… until Batman faces them. A controversial tale, it attracted attention from fans and critics alike, establishing just how risky and dangerous the New 52 Batverse could be.
It will star several familiar voice actors, but some of them will be playing unusual roles…
Kevin Conroy is returning for a new Batman animated adventure — and while he’s not voicing Batman, he’s closely connected to the character. The Hollywood Reporter has word that the revered “Batman: The Animated Series” alum will voice Thomas Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s famously murdered father, in the forthcoming DC Comics-based animated feature “Batman vs. Robin.”
Musical comedy icon “Weird Al” Yankovic has also joined the voice cast, playing villain The Dollmaker. Jeremy Sisto, recently of “Suburgatory,” will voice Talon. Jason O’Mara (Batman), Stuart Allen (Robin/Damian Wayne), Sean Maher (Nightwing) and David McCallum (Alfred) all return from 2014’s “Son of Batman.”
“Batman vs. Robin” is based in part on “Night of the Owls,” the 2012 “Batman” storyline by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo starring the Court of Owls organization. It’s the next DC-based animated feature slated for release, following the Aquaman-centric “Justice League: Throne of Atlantis,” which is out now as a digital release and debuts on DVD and Blu-ray on Jan. 27.
The “Batman vs. Robin” cast will also include, as revealed by THR, Grey Griffin (Samantha), Robin Atkin Downes (Grandmaster) and Peter Onorati (Draco). DC animation mainstay Jay Oliva directed a script by comics veteran J.M. DeMatteis. “Batman vs. Robin” is planned to debut during WonderCon, held April 3-April 5 in Anaheim.
The DC Animated movies have never failed to impress but as the pendulum swung from Batman to Superman project there has been an apparent lack of new characters. Fans have been crying out for a Flash film (Flashpoint partly answered that need) and one centered on Aquaman. Throne of Atlantis, based on the multi-part story chronicled in the monthly Justice League comic book may fill that slot as well.
The home video release will establish a modern version of the King of the Seven Seas, just in time for the upcoming debut on screen with Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Momoa has reportedly signed a four picture deal so expect to get very familiar with this hero.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AQUAMAN JOINS THE TEAM AS WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES JUSTICE LEAGUE: THRONE OF ATLANTIS ON BLU-RAY COMBO PACK, DVD and DIGITAL HD ON JANUARY 27, 2015
All-New 75-Minute DC Universe Original Movie Features Iconic Justice League Characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman!
Burbank, CA – The newly formed Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman discover another super hero on the planet – Aquaman – and the group must band together to prevent a war between the inhabitants of land and sea as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, and DC Entertainment unleash Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Packed with non-stop action, the brand-new 75-minute DC Universe Original Movie comes to Blu-rayTM Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on January 27, 2015.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis will be available on Blu-rayTM Combo Pack for $24.98 SRP and on DVD for $19.98 SRP. The Blu-rayTM Combo Pack includes a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own Justice League: Throne of Atlantis in Digital HD on January 13 via purchase from digital retailers.
In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!
“We are thrilled to introduce this exciting new Justice League film to fans with the release of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. “As the Justice League saga continues to expand, fans are looking for exciting new adventures for this vibrant group of super heroes and this brand-new film is sure to deliver!”
The celebrity laden cast features primetime television stars Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) at Aquaman, Sam Witwer (Being Human, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Orm, Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova, Vegas, Life on Mars) as Batman, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as Flash, Nathan Fillion (Castle) as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Rosario Dawson (Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Crossing Jordan, Stand By Me) as Superman, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Shazam, Sumalee Montano (Beware the Batman, Transformers Prime) as Mera, Sirena Irwin (Superman: Unbound) as Queen Atlanna, and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, The Blacklist) as Manta.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis delivers an action-packed addition to the ongoing series of DC Universe Original Movies, which have shipped more than 14 million units to date. The film features brand-new extra content for collectors and fans alike.
BLU-RAYTM AND DVD ELEMENTS
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis Blu-rayTM contains the following special features:
• Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep – Every great film needs a great musical score. Filled with emotion, music takes us on a dynamic journey as we adventure with the hero. Throne of Atlantis takes us on that quest through the eyes of Arthur Curry.
• Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence – Producer James Tucker provides video commentary for this exciting bonus sequence where Robin and Nightwing join forces.
• Throne of Atlantis: 2014 New York Comic Con Panel – The entire, lively one-hour panel discussion between actor Matt Lanter, producer James Tucker, screenwriter Heath Corson, character designer Phil Bourassa and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
• Villains of the Deep – From Ocean Master to Black Manta to King Shark, each villain operates from his own deep sense of conviction, presenting an incredible challenge for the hero in Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. This documentary goes into the biographical details of the villains.
• A Sneak Peak at Batman vs. Robin – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
• Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis DVD contains the following special features:
• A Sneak Peak at Batman vs. Robin – An advance look at the next DC Universe Original Movie with the creators and cast.
• Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault