Marvel Studios may currently have the edge in live-action adaptations of their superhero comics, but DC Entertainment has long reigned supreme in the field of animation. Legendary creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini brought about this dominance with the incomparable Batman: The Animated Series and eventually built a connected universe, known as the DC Animated Universe (DCAU), through series such as Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited.
Timm went on to be a supervising producer of all of DC's animated offerings, having a hand in some of the best animated superhero films of all time. So when it was announced in 2013 that Timm would be stepping down from his position, fans let out a collective sigh of disappointment before it was revealed he was working with Warner Bros on an all-new project. That project, as we now know, is Justice League: Gods and Monsters.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has released the first first clip from Bruce Timm's latest film, which you can view above. The clip features Superman (voiced by Benjamin Bratt), Wonder Woman (Tamara Taylor), and Batman (Michael C. Hall) gathered in what is presumably the new version of the Justice League Watchtower. As the citizens of the world gather to protest their existence and unchecked power, the heroes discuss their role in the world and how best to serve mankind (and more importantly, themselves).
The film focuses on an alternate reality where the trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are completely reimagined as darker versions of themselves. Superman is the son of General Zod, Wonder Woman is a New God, and Batman is an actual vampire that drains the life from criminals. The story will focus on these three figures being framed for multiple murders, struggling against public opinion and the threat of the mysterious person behind the murders.
As shown in the clip and the official trailer, Bruce Timm has been given free rein to craft his new take on the DC Universe from the ground up. It's a dark commentary on the classic versions of these characters, utilizing the appeal of alternate universe stories such as those seen in DC's own Elseworlds imprint. While not every aspect is unique (Batman has been a vampire and Superman has ruled the people of Earth), the film still has potential to offer new perspectives and insights into the iconic characters we've all come to love.
Timm is a legend in terms of animation, one of the brightest visionaries Warner Bros. stable. Giving him free rein to create another universe after the success of the DCAU is a no-brainer. While it's not the new Justice League series that we hoped for, Justice League: Gods and Monsters promises to be a memorable addition to DC's animated offerings.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters will be premiering at San Diego Comic-Con on July 10th at 7:00 p.m. in Ballroom 20. The film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on July 28th.