New DC Animated Shared Universe Will Be Version of ‘The New 52′

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 28th, 2014 at 8:55 am,

Son of Batman Preview 2014 New DC Animated Shared Universe Will Be Version of The New 52
Warner Bros. won’t be continuing the big screen DC universe established with Superman reboot Man of Steel until 2016’s release of Batman vs. Superman, but DC properties will see adaptations across multiple platforms in the meantime. NBC is adapting Constantine, Fox has Gotham on the way, and the CW’s successful Arrow will see a spinoff centered around The Flash.

Meanwhile, 2014 will see two releases from WB’s animation studios in the form of Son of Batman and Batman: Arkham Asylum, and while the latter will be a standalone project based on the popular Arkham Asylum video game series, it turns out that Son of Batman will be just the latest chapter in a series of animated films all set within the same DC universe, consciously similar to DC’s “New 52″ reboot of their comic book continuity.

James Tucker, supervising producer for Son of Batman and many other DC animated features, recently spoke to Comic Book Resources about the development of the title, which introduces Bruce Wayne’s biological son Damian, who was raised by his mother Talia al Ghul to be an assassin, and eventually becomes the new Robin.

Tucker previously told CBM that: “We’re using the New 52 world as a launching point where we can kind of tell our own stories, kind of like we did on ‘Justice League Unlimited.’ ” He elaborated on using the New 52 as a model for a connected animation universe:

And we’re not strictly doing New 52, meaning just because New 52 did it, it doesn’t mean we can’t veer from that. We’re just piggybacking what we’re doing by changing the universe and creating a connected universe within the DTVs. That wasn’t done before. Before it was just each movie was its own thing, an adaptation of a classic story. So we’re trying something different by actually having almost an OVA version of the DC universe where there’s connectivity between the movies.

Justice League The Flashpoint Paradox Flash and Batman 1024x576 New DC Animated Shared Universe Will Be Version of The New 52

The direct-to-video releases existing within this new continuity are last year’s Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, this year’s Justice League: War and Son of Batman, with Assault on Arkham standing apart. Tucker spoke about the decision to adapt the newer Batman stories in this continuity, saying:

A lot of the things we adapted in the old days were old stories. I mean, they had been out already 10 years or something, and it’s just oh, this is a classic story. Let’s do our spin on it. Well, this is clearly taking something that’s not even that old and bringing him into the film world, and he’s an instant classic. So it was a great opportunity to do that and give Batman a fresh spin because now he’s a dad, he has to act in a different way than he’s used to acting.

Writer Grant Morrison’s inclusion of Damian Wayne in the comic books was one of the more celebrated developments for Batman in the past few years. Hopefully, the animated version will do the source material justice.

Tucker pointed out that while these titles will draw on the New 52, they will not be beholden to them:

Well, the thing is we want continuity, but we don’t want to be hamstrung by it. So if there’s a story that happened pre-New 52 that we think is a strong story, we’ll adapt it into our universe. So that it doesn’t rule out things that have already been pre-New 52.

Some comic book fans have been vocal about their disappointment that the actual New 52 hasn’t used as many pre-reboot stories as they would’ve liked. Perhaps the shared WB Animated Universe will be more appealing for them.

James Tucker was asked about the possibility of heroes like Aquaman getting their own animated feature (there was a rumor that he was left out of War specifically for that reason). And while Tucker wouldn’t name any future characters with a film in the works, he did suggest that plenty of thought has gone into this continuity, saying:

We have a lot of plans, I can say that. The world’s wide open. We don’t really have a lot of restrictions on that. I mean, I just wish we could do 10 a year because – no, I don’t, because that’s a lot of work. But there are ideas we want to do and characters I want to tap into. It takes time to get to them. We only do two a year that are in continuity, so it takes a while to get around to everyone. So as long as each movie has something or somebody in it that no one’s seen on DVD before, I think we’ll be accomplishing our goals.

Tucker confirmed that for now, WB and DC will focus on more established characters like Batman and the Justice League, but did hint that they have big plans for Damian Wayne:

[…] I think Damian’s one of those characters that the minute everyone knows about him, he’s gonna pop, and he’ll probably get a movie at some point. Don’t quote me. I don’t know! But he’s that good a character.

Read the entire CBR interview here.

The recent spate of animated DC films have been pretty good across the board – read our positive reviews of Justice League: War and The Flashpoint Paradox – and the upcoming Son of Batman and Assault on Arkham look promising.

When James Tucker spoke about Damian Wayne getting his own movie, could he have been hinting at plans to introduce Damian in the live-action Batman universe? Maybe not, but the notion of mixing some New 52 storylines with older, classic narratives should result in some fascinating future animated releases.


Son of Batman is available for digital download and VOD as of April 22nd, and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 6th. Batman: Assault on Arkham will be released later in 2014.

Source: CBR

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. WB/DC also confirmed they’re making a Justice League movie to be directed by Zack Snyder after MOS2.

    • Ahh you beat me to it i was going to post the same thing.

  2. As far as I know Flashpoint Paradox isn’t part of this new continuity o.O ?
    Only Justice League:War and now Son Of Batman

    • My thought the same… I thought the Flaspoint was the last of it’s ‘universe’. At least it kinda felt that JL:War was the start of the New 52 lines? Or are they suggesting the event on Flaspoint is the trigger to the new universe? Hmmm… confusing

      • Yes, Flashpoint was the cause of the New 52reboot

      • Flashpoint is the transition from old to new. It’s basicaly a revolving door for dc.

    • The last scene between flash and batman when he gives him his father’s notes is the new 52 (same as War). So there is a direct continuity.

      • Doubtful because when the Flash meets Batman for the first time in Justice League: War, he congratulates him and says that he does good work. In The Flashpoint Paradox, they are all buddy buddy from the jump and are already working together. They are not in continuity.

        • Flash meeting with Batman at the end of Flashpoint is in the New 52. It’s not like the New 52 Flash didn’t have a history, before he met Batman. It was just that point in time that he got his memories of the Flashpoint universe back.
          So War does take place after the events of Flashpoint, but the scene in Flashpoint where Barry is with Batman takes place after War.

    • Flashpoint Paradox is what set up the new 52 universe in Justice League: War.

  3. they should just call it the animated batman universe… all they seem to make is batman and that last batman movies is one of the worse animated movies ive seen… yeah, it was that boring. that marvel movie with black widow and punisher was sooo much better yet you never saw ANY articles on this site about it…

    i want more of the other characters instead of batman and superman.. if marvel are making a black widow and punisher movie then what dc’s excuse?

    • It’s batman 75th anniversary so they are pumping a s*** ton of batman movies and comics to celebrate, and yea as a huge dc and batman fan that movie was so much s*** but black widow and punisher was a crappy film too, next year they said there will be a throne of Atlantis story line

      • all that 75th anniversary means is that they have an excuse to release batman crap. and the last marvel animated movie was really good. and they experiment and put mony into the movie unlike dc which had some of the worst animation ive seen in a long time. the first 10 mins of son of batman were hard to watch

        • @ Corey

          this year’s 75th anniversary is like a whimper than a bang. Since there is no new Batman movie in the cinema. except maybe that new Arkham game.

    • You realize that the last Batman animated film was Batman: The Dark Knight Returns? Which was amazing.

      As for no one ever mentioning Marvel’s animated films. Well there is a reason for that. Because they are average at best. Marvel doesn’t even come close to DC in animated films.

      Also Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox was centered on The Flash. So clearly they are using the smaller characters in their films.

      • punisher and black widow was better than the last two dc animated movies.

        • says you, but i still havent seen that movie so I can’t really say much about it. BUt marvel not promoting a lot like Dc does with their films must be the reason.

          • the only promo i see are on sites like this. i never see ads on youtube or tv lmao

            • dc promoted their animated films on tv, i rarely ever see Marvel do that, i guess it depends on what channel it is. But to be honest the best marvel cartoons were in the 90s, and spectacular spiderman. as far as films goes, ultimate avengers was ok. Maybe it’s the westernized manga style that dc uses that wins me over but marvel animated features don’t make that big of an impact on me.

        • Oh please, i love Marvel but that film was atrocius. Felt like somebody took a teenager’s fan fiction (one that was clearly in live with BW) and turned into an animated film. Scientist guy: “I love you black window, but i was a lowly scientist and not good enough for you”, BW: ” but i loved u scientist guy, u dudnt have to change, now your evil”, Scientist guy: ” no, i did this all for you, to prove myself, now ive made myself super powered so you can love meeee” BW: ” no your evil” Scientist guy: ” my bad, ill totally help you save the world now, because love” gets shot and dies. Punisher is there too, he kills tons of people and Shield’s all like.. Meh. The avengers show up too for about a minute, ironman says like one line.. and his suit looks weird. True story.

          • Lol.. Black window.. Sigh.. I need to reread my posts for typos.. Meh

            • So yeah, story wise terrible. That film did excel in animation (action/fights very anime-ish which was cool) and also getting Widow’s boobs just right.

        • You have to be kidding. You just have to be!
          I wasn’t a big fan of DC’s last two either…

          But Punisher/BW was absolute crap!

          I couldn’t even finish watching it because the writing was so cliche and contrived!

        • It only got 2.5/5 on Amazon.

          • The Son of Batman got 4/5. I’ve seen Son of Batman and I thought it was very good.

    • Black Widow and Punisher are not my favorite characters, but I have to admit, their movie is much better than JL:War and to certain extent Son of Batman, at least in the anime style. If I had to choose among them, that Avengers Confidential is top on my list.
      Plus, it’s happening in the same continuity with Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, so technically that movie exist in a Marvel Animated or should I say ‘Anime’ universe in its own as well.

    • Batman is a money maker simple as that. Why make a zatanna or blue beetle movie when you could slap batman onto something and have the fanboys go crazy over it. Ever since the nolan movies batman is a guaranteed batman is dc’s safest bet.

      • Money maker*

      • why make one character extremely popular when you can try and make as many as possible… dc doesnt even give other characters a chance. yet marvel make a movie with the punisher. they could have went the easy way and just make another iron man

    • You musta watched the BW Punisher movie with some rose colored glasses on.
      That movie was horrible! Some of the most cliche writing I’ve ever seen in an animated feature.

  4. Its says in the article Flashpoint is Part of the universe. if anything 1st N the series..
    idk i njoi all or at least most of the animated films..
    War by far the worst.. The only thing i like is the inclusion of Cyborgs origin story

  5. So Batman’s a dad now, huh? Man, DC’s animated fare is beginning to suck a$$ as bad as these live action crap-fests they’ve been churning out.

    • you know most of DC’s animated storylines are pulled directly from the comics

    • lol, that’s old news, Batman has been a dad for like 4-5 years now in the comics.

    • Not only is he a dad, he’s also hot s deranged secret brother! Oooooo Lol

  6. I thought this is already a common sense so nothing new (at least to those who watched the special features of both JL:War and Son of Batman), but yes, the Flashpoint inclusion is definitely the one that brought question to my head. My guess the WB exec brought up this fact again, just because the next one (Arkham) will NOT be in the same continuity, but a spin-off to the games. So that audience won’t be expecting that the events happening in the same universe.

    The difference to the universe is simple for me: the past (and Arkham) universe has Kevin Conroy’s Batman, the New 52 lines has Jason O’Mara’s Batman.

  7. I didn’t kno SOB was out already… from the trailer
    Damian sounded to young.. does Deathstroke kill him(spoiler alert)

  8. Hope they still do one offs, havent gotten kingdom come or red son. But I hope they get into some individual characters even if new 52, like the aquaman coming up.

  9. So the heyday of DC animation is possibly over now. Mostly everything up to the Dark Knight Returns Part 2 I loved or liked a lot. But now 3 of the last 4 have been more on the dislike side. I did like Flashpoint. I remember being pissed off while watching Superman Unbound, I forget specifically all the reasons why…I’ll have to watch it again. I know one part of it is that my excitement/expectations were high based on their reputation. JL War didn’t do much for me. Not a huge deal, but I don’t like Superman’s New 52 look. Son of Batman I actually disliked, although I think Damian has potential in the DCAU. I guess I’m just disappointed their going to continue with this type of stuff. I like the idea of continuity but not the continuity of crap imao. I love the older films/programs/stories/animation, especially with Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy. Is Bruce Timm still involved with the future DCAU?

  10. As much as I enjoy the character of Batman, I can’t help but to wonder why the other characters are often ignored? Wonder Woman had just one origin animated film. Aquaman has Zero. Flash has one.. Compare that to the countless Batman animated projects and you’ll see the blatant actions of DC. I’m starting to feel the same way about Batman as I feel about Wolverine. The overexposure and constant sack riding by fans and money hungry studios has turned me off!

  11. Personally I can’t stand the idea of Damian. I hate the Batman is an actual father. It just doesn’t feel right. The new 52 is okay. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be. If they expand the AU to include some Red Hood and The Outlaws animated features I’d be so sold on that idea. I understand it’s Batman’s 75th year but in my opinion with regards to the new 52 he’s really lacking. I just think Damian dichotomy really really threw people off because it was corny, and just bad writing by Morrison.

    I remember when Damian died me and a group of my friends were at a diner and jumped for joy when we heard the news. The character is just corny. “A killer assassin who is Batman’s flesh and blood?!” This sounds like it comes from a soap opera. I’m a huge DC fan. I’m not a marvel guy at all. I just think if the new 52 is going to be the launch point for the new DCAU I’d sell some Wonder Woman features ( I haven’t read any yet but I heard good things about her stories), Red Hood and the Outlaws (This is literally one of my favorite comics currently haven’t read since week end of Vol3. Going to wait until june to grab vol 4), and I heard Aquaman/GL isn’t that bad either. Making features for these wouldn’t be a bad idea to expand on the hero-verse.

    DCAU is still on my s*** list for Cancelling Young Justice tho. A cartoon who had the potential to essentially become equal to Timm-verse DCAU and they ruin it. An unbelievable cartoon *poof* gone for Teen Titans Go!. Ugh. Lastly @Corey I haven’t heard anything about these two Marvel movies. Marvel hasn’t produced a good animated film since Planet Hulk, and the “Versus” series (and only Hulk Vs. Wolverine was really worth watching. ) Son of Batman I knew was going to be bad because Damian (lame ass character) and War wasn’t too bad. It had to be done because of the pure violence which was Flashpoint (KIDS GOT KILLED). War just felt rushed just like the comic did when you read it. It was an okay film.

  12. This is where WB/DC shines, the TV and animation outlets. I say they focus on the DCAU instead of catching up to the MCU by making their own movie universe. At least they have alot more liberty in terms of how much they can put in and the amount of action/chaos the fight scenes can be. I love every single animated movie they put out and I’m looking forward to Son of Batman as well.
    Batman vs Superman(MoS2) has a chance of becoming a one big, mess of a semi-Justice League movie. And with JL movie announced just a few years after MoS2 there’s just not enough time for each character to have his/her own development the way Marvel Studios so cleverly crafted and patiently worked on for years.

  13. I LOVE DC animated movies. I love almost all of them. But SON OF BATMAN did what I never thought was possible and it made a very BORING Batman animated movie that was hard to watch.

  14. I’m really excited at the prospect of having DC animated movies in continuity. I loved Flashpoint, and I enjoyed JL: War as well. Granted, there wasn’t anything terribly unique or impressive about the storyline to War, but I think it was a promising start. And you get the best of both worlds since they’re doing stand-alone films in addition to the in-continuity features. But come on guys, enough with Batman. Two out of their three yearly releases being solely Batman and the third being a Justice League that feature, you guessed it, Batman? Give the other characters some love, DC. I thought Wonder Woman was one of the strongest DC films, and they haven’t even given her another solo movie.

  15. Just give me a cg animated KINGDOM COME already !

  16. *facepalm*
    This is gonna stink

  17. How about DC/Warner doing some animated super-flix for the Legion of Super-Heroes and for the Justice Society of America (Doctor Fate, Hourman, Doctor Midnite, Sandman, etc,)?

  18. I’d just like to see some variety. wonder woman, aquaman, a young justice feature, cyborg, some further exploration into DC’s library. good god with the batman. I love the character but there’s more to this.

  19. Do short seasons of full series on direct to DVD instead of giving shows to Cartoon Network for cancellation. Ted Turner will never get it right with DC.

  20. they should’ve introduced aquaman