Holy teenage rebellion, Batman! The first trailer for the next entry in the DC animated canon has just dropped – courtesy of IGN – and it looks like Bruce Wayne is about to get extremely acquainted with the perils of fatherhood. Then again, it’s hard to place strict rules on your child when you yourself operate entirely outside of the law. Check out the full Batman vs. Robin trailer above, which previews the latest threat to both Gotham City and the dynamic duo’s relationship.
Earning mostly positive reviews, last year’s Son of Batman animated film put the spotlight on a Dark Knight suddenly thrust into the role of father, after Ra’s al Guhl’s death leads Bruce’s ex-flame Talia to leave their son in his care.
A hotheaded, unpredictable young man, Damian Wayne immediately turns Gotham’s ecosystem upside down, resorting to any lengths necessary to avenge his grandfather’s murder. Seeing the need for discipline and a guiding hand in Damian’s life, Nightwing makes him the new Robin. Together, the caped crusader and his hero-in-training wage a battle to bring down Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, all the while learning to understand each other better along the way.
When Batman vs. Robin picks up the story, Damian’s rebellious ways continue unabated, as clearly evidence by the trailer’s opening. It’s safe to say that many teenage boys might have dared to steal their dad’s car at some point, but most fathers don’t own the Batmobile. Needless to say, Bruce isn’t pleased, and apparently installs an electric fence to keep his son caged.
That (obviously) doesn’t work, though, as a secret society of assassins dubbed The Court of Owls soon uses its manipulative influence to attempt to lure Robin to the dark side. This branch of the plot is inspired by the 2011-2012 comic storyline of the same name, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo. That said, the movie appears to be taking some liberties with the source material.
Son of Batman stars Jason O’Mara (Terra Nova), Stuart Allan (Bad Teacher), Sean Maher (Arrow), and David McCallum (NCIS) are set to reprise their roles of Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Alfred respectively for this sequel. New to the Batman vs. Robin voice cast are Jeremy Sisto (Suburgatory) as lead Owl assassin Talon, and Weird Al Yankovic as The Dollmaker, a villain with a backstory so macabre that it’s hard to imagine it being explicitly mentioned in a PG-13 animated film.
For those unaware, the New 52 version of The Dollmaker is the twisted son of a cannibalistic serial killer, and is known to wear parts of his dead father’s face as a mask. So yeah, sweet dreams, kids. In a nice treat for longtime Bat-fans, classic Batman voice Kevin Conroy will make a quick cameo as Bruce’s father Thomas.
Will this newest entry in the Batman canon fly as high as Son of Batman? That remains to be seen, but Warner Bros. and DC seem to be giving it their best shot.
Batman vs. Robin premieres at WonderCon in April, then heads to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD shortly thereafter.