While Warner Bros. is gearing up to begin exploring their DCEU in next year's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, their animated film universe is already well established. Kicking off with Justice League: War and expanding through follow up films Justice League: Throne of Atlantis and Son of Batman, the universe is based closely on DC's New 52 lineup.
The next film in the series, Batman: Bad Blood, works as a kind of combination of old and new storylines. It's a continuation of the story that began in Batman Vs. Robin, but it takes inspiration from Grant Morrison's work on the comic series Batman and Robin. The film sees Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) taking on the mantle of the Batman after Bruce Wayne (Jason O'Mara) goes missing, with Damian Wayne (Stuart Allen) serving as Robin. It will introduce new characters to the Bat Family, such as Batwoman and Batwing, played by Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) and Gaius Charles (Grey's Anatomy) respectively.
DC All Access has released the first official trailer for the film, which can be viewed in the above video starting at 1:17. The trailer largely focuses on the Bat Family gathering together to battle an unknown threat. There's no information hinting at Batman's whereabouts, but there's a sense of desperation as Dick Grayson dons the cape and cowl.
The trailer is followed by interviews with the cast and crew, who shed a bit more light on the plot of the film. It turns out that the arrival of Batwoman on the scene leads to Batman's fall, with the character seemingly sacrificing himself to save her. The mystery of what really happened to Batman is the driving force behind the movie, with characters like Batwing and his father Lucious Fox (voiced by Ernie Hudson) joining the search.
Batman: Bad Blood marks the first time that Luke Fox, aka Batwing, has been introduced outside of the comic books. Fox has a background in mixed martial arts and his abilities are augmented by his armored suit, which gives him the ability to fly. Gaius Charles, the voice behind Batwing, indicated that his version of Fox has "just taken on the role" so there's "room for him to develop" in future Batman films.
The trailer doesn't introduce the villains by name, but they appear to be lead by Heretic, a Batman villain introduced in Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated. Without spoilers, the character has strong connections to both Bruce and Damien, making him a great fit for Batman: Bad Blood. By introducing Heretic and his own team of lesser-known villains, there's an impetus for the Bat Family to finally unite, with or without Bruce Wayne. It will also give future films the opportunity to explore Bruce Wayne's place in the Bat Family - serving as an inspiration for the group, but not necessarily a founder.
Batman: Bad Blood is set to be released in early 2016.
Source: DC All Access