For years the animated side of the DC Universe has seen great success come from adapting many of comics most celebrated stories – The New Frontier, The Dark Knight Returns, Flashpoint, etc. But this year Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment have teamed with Machinima to develop a new animated film and three-part animated series based on an entirely original narrative – Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

From a screenplay by Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) and directed by Sam Liu (Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman), Gods and Monsters explores a “newly conceived reality” of the DC Universe and will feature versions of its most famous heroes that are much darker. Even more exciting for longtime DCAU fans is the involvement of Bruce Timm. The animation icon is working on the project as a producer (along with Sam Register), though he’s also credited with co-developing the story and character designs.

Check out the first sneak peek (above) of Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

What becomes immediately apparent from watching this short trailer is that these are not the versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman we’re most familiar with. They look and act dramatically different, appearing to be a Justice League comprised of only the Trinity – and are in no way beloved by the people of Earth.

Further details taken from a behind-the-scenes featurette on the recently released Batman vs. Robin Blu-Ray (via Nerds on the Rocks) reveal that this version of Superman is the son of General Zod and therefor more violent and quick-temperored. Wonder Woman is not an Amazon but rather one of the New Gods and wife of Orion. As for Batman, he isn’t Bruce Wayne but instead Kirk Langstrom (AKA Man-Bat) and is dying from cancer. Using bat venom in an attempted cure, Langstrom transforms himself into a pseudo-vampire, now feeding on the blood of criminals to sustain himself.

The whole conceit of Gods and Monsters is that the Justice League are being framed for the murders of several, famed scientists – Ray Palmer, Victor Fries, Silas Stone, etc. And after seeing just how different and violent these versions of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are, it’s easy to understand why that would be so believable.

Wonder Woman Superman Batman Justice League Gods and Monsters Justice League: Gods and Monsters Teaser Trailer: A Darker Animated DC Universe

Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman in ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters.’

This radically different Justice League won’t be the only changes to the DC Universe as we know it. Both Darkseid and Lex Luthor are set to make appearances, with Luthor being described as akin to Stephen Hawking, seeking out knowledge instead of lusting for power. Darkseid, however, may only appear briefly, but with this version of Wonder Woman hailing from Apokolip’s sister planet, New Genesis, there’s a good likelihood the two share something of a past.

What do you make of this dramatically different take on DC Comics’ most iconic heroes? Are you excited to explore this new animated continuity? Sound off in the comments below!

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles will premiere on Machinima in the second quarter of 2015, not too long before the Justice League: Gods and Monsters animated feature is made available for home viewing.

Source: Warner Bros, Nerd on the Rocks

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