The Justice League is goin’ dark! No, this is not another non-story about how Guillermo del Toro still wants to make a movie based on Justice League Dark in the midst of his exceptionally busy schedule, and no, this is not a reference to the Zack Snyder live-action Justice League movie that’s supposed to follow-up 2016’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Nope, in this instance we’re looking to the animated realm, and a new limited series called Justice League: Gods & Monsters Chronicles which will lead up to the 2015 release of Justice League: Gods & Monsters, a new animated film from an original script by Alan Burnett. And yes, sources say that this new JL is going to have a darker spin than past incarnations. Yay?
According to Variety, Justice League: Gods & Monsters Chronicles will “revolve around a newly conceived reality in the DC universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the superheroes that people know.” The series will then lead into the release of Justice League: Gods & Monsters, which is expected to come out on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD sometime later next year.
To the extent of how dark is “dark” is not yet known, but fans should note that Burnett and co-producer Bruce Timm are both veterans of several DC Comics Animated Universe projects, including Batman: The Animated Series, so they should be able to be trusted by now to know where the line is.
In other news, Chronicles will be available exclusively on the online video service Machinima. It’s part of a $18 million investment that Warner Bros. made in Machinima earlier this year, and will be the first project to be developed under this new corporate synergy. DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson discussed why Machinima will be a good platform to introduce new DC-based material:
“We are committed to delivering DC Entertainment’s extensive line-up of world-class characters and stories to audiences across all platforms and formats. ‘Justice League: Gods and Monsters’ is an exciting opportunity to bring alternate versions of DC Comics’ iconic Justice League characters to Machinima, and we look forward to bringing this new animated shortform series to life with our partners across Warner Bros.”
It’s worth noting that Machinima is not an unknown quantity in the release of nerd-related original media as they’ve previously been the platform to launch Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome. If successful, look for more DC animated projects to make their way to Machinima in the coming years. Maybe even some live-action ones? That is if all the TV networks don’t buy up every DC-owned property and turn it into a TV show by then.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters is the third of three announced DC animated projects to be released in the next year including Justice League: Throne of Atlantis based on Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis first Aquaman story arc, and Batman vs. Robin, which will feature, but not be based on, the Court of Owls.