Guesses, Hopes, and Far-fetched Wishes1 of 12Warner Bros. Animation joined the "New 52" with January's Justice League: Throne of Atlantis and following that up with the Court of Owls-centric Batman vs. Robin. While we have some other New 52 stories that we'd like to see animated, there's still many classic DC tales still ripe for adaptation.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of great characters and specific stories to choose from to adapt and we had to comb and cull to make the list. In it sit some origin stories, Elseworlds stories, some humor, but definitely some of the most trademark DC stories in their library. With DC moving away from the New 52 branding, isn't it time they received the animated treatment as well?
Batgirl: Year One2 of 12This is a bit of a long shot, especially given WB's supposed mandate of just making male-centric films going forward, but how cool would this be? True, it was made into a motion comic a while back, but a full-length movie showcasing Barbara Gordon's first outing as Batgirl, befriending Black Canary, and then becoming an honorary member of the Bat family would be a delight. Legendary Bat-family scribes Scott Beatty and Chuck Dixon's story was full of fun, adventure, and Batgirl punching Robin in the stomach.
Sure, Batman's origin is integrated into pop culture, but Batgirl's is still not as familiar to non-comic fans and an animated feature would be just the thing to get people recognized with Gotham's most famous librarian. Plus, when was the last time you saw Killer Moth in an animated movie?
Given the warm response the new Batgirl creative team has garnered, a Batgirl cartoon in some form or another is more likely than ever.
Casting recommendation: Allison Brie as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl
Gotham By Gaslight3 of 12While the DCAU tends to stray away from Elseworld stories and concentrate on origin stories and story arcs, this would be a killer movie to have made. With the higher profile for the characters thanks to their inclusion in the videogame Infinite Crisis, maybe now there's finally hope. Written by Brian Augustyn and art by then rising star Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell, it's considered the be the first Elseworld story taking the Batman mythos into a 1889 Gotham City where there's a slew of murders resembling the work of Jack the Ripper. Gotham By Gaslight reads, and should be shown, as a detective story/murder mystery in the same vein as TV's Elementary, Sherlock, and CSI.
Conveniently, this was one of the stories that Producer James Tucker and Director Jay Oliva both mentioned as a "dream project" at the Justice League: War premiere, so maybe it's more likely than we think.
Casting recommendation: Eion Bailey as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Batman: The Long Halloween4 of 12We're actually surprised this hasn't been made already as it pieces together some of the best bits of Batman's mythology sprinkled with almost all of his top-tier rogues. Another story that DC Animation executives have mentioned as a dream project, this was originally a maxi-series that spanned 13 issues, but in a way continues from Batman: Year One and shows the transformation of Batman's fight against urban crime to the trademark supervilliany that plagues Gotham.
Oh, yeah, and it was one of the inspirations for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Who wouldn't love to see Tim Sale's moody and atmospheric Gotham brought to the screen? While this might have been the slot where another certain Jeph Loeb Batman story could have been (shhh), The Long Halloween has that sense of cinematic noir that would make a great translation to the small screen.
Casting recommendation: Jon Hamm as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Formerly Known as The Justice League5 of 12And now for something completely different.
While the rest of the list concentrates on the more gritty corners of the DCU, there was a time when the creators of the late 80's Justice League International came together again and did a six-issue mini-series continuing the adventures of Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire, Elongated Man, and Captain Atom, with the addition this time around of Mary Marvel. Of course superheroics came into play, but it was the quasi-sitcom vibe that the series lent itself that made readers love it (it actually won an Eisner back in 2004 for Best Comedy Series). Given DC's knack for giving the green light to the more mature storylines and arcs, the Super Buddies would be a great chance to break away from those, providing the same vibe as Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Teen Titans Go!.
Casting recommendation: Adam Scott as Ted Kord/Blue Beetle
Sinestro Corps War6 of 12The Green Lantern animated movie franchise hasn't really had that one hit that ignited it, but what if you take the epic "Sinestro Corps War" and give it a shot at animated glory? Sounds like gold to us. What was basically a restructuring of the Green Lantern universe at the time has grown to be part of GL canon and the second part of a Green Lantern trilogy of sorts with Green Lantern: Rebirth being the first volume, this being the second, and Blackest Night being the finale. Some elements of the story had been touched on in Green Lantern: First Flight such as Sinestro making the yellow rings of fear in Qward, but this time he bestows his own legion of who's who to make his own Corps, powered by the element of fear.
The event itself crossed over just two books but featured all the most popular Green Lantern characters and while some of these have been featured in other animated media, it would be a great way to introduce older fans that grew up on the animated Justice League with more of the Green Lantern corner of the DCU. Plus, some of the fight scenes would be insane to see as they jump out at you on the screen.
Casting recommendation: Jason Isaacs as Sinestro
Batman: Knightfall7 of 12"I will...BREAK YOU!"
Needless to say, no one from the 90s generation wasn't completely devastated at the thought of Bruce Wayne never walking again (of course in typical comic book style, he recovered), and the imagery is one that is still so recognizable to this day. In the early 90's Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench created Bane, the man who would break the Bat, and set off a chain of events that led to Jean-Paul Valley assume the cape and cowl...and then become a teched-out Batman the likes we've never seen before.
Just as Batman: Year One revolutionized Batman in the 80's, thus did Knightfall in the 90's. Batman's fall and rise might have been captured in some essence in Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy, but Knightfall was a heavy influence on that and deserves it's own stand-alone feature.
Casting recommendation: Danny Trejo as Bane
Batman: The Killing Joke8 of 12This one seems sort of obvious, right?
The Killing Joke has been a staple of Batman lore, but oddly enough, was never intended to be part of canon. The story also contains one of the most graphic images of violence ever in superhero comic books: Barbara Gordon being shot point blank by the Joker and left, paralyzed, assaulted, and demeaned in a sexually-charged scene. The story also shows Joker's origin, almost making him sympathetic (of course when you shoot women in the spine that sympathy goes right outside the window) and giving Batman and Joker what appears to be a final showdown. Fan speculation aside, the macabre imagery of the Joker's hideout and level of violence was unlike anything readers had seen at the time. True, other features had shown Joker's taste of grisly violence, but to adapt this story would take it to a whole new level.
Mark Hamill has gone on the record of saying while he is retired from voicing the Joker he'd gladly return to star in this adaptation, should they ever get around to it.
Casting recommendation: Mark Hamill as the Joker (Come on!)
Superman: Red Son9 of 12One of three "Elseworld" stories on the list, but still one of DC's greatest spins on Superman: as the savior to Russia who is made into the champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact! Originally published a little over a decade ago, Superman: Red Son has endured as a contemporary classic with distinguished visuals and gives non-comic fans a good example of something new with a case of "what if...?".
The story itself spans almost 50 years, and while a lot of that might be omitted, the idea that the United States help make Bizarro is too cool to pass up.
Casting recommendation: Chris Noth as Lex Luthor
Crisis on Infinite Earths10 of 12Okay, much like our top spot, it features a ton of characters and epic battles, but this time, it features the entire DC Universe and the fate of their entire reality at stake. Originally produced as a 12-issue maxi series in the mid-80's, Crisis on Infinite Earths by DC's top talent back then and did away with a lot of the convoluted history that DC had built through the years. But could it be adapted as an animated movie?
The probability is unlikely at this point in time, given that they have moved on to the New 52 and beyond, but again should DC ever take the risk in making such a movie, the pay off has massive potential. This event was the event at DC for a generation and defined an era of comics. Consider an animated feature that's a history lesson of sorts for earlier generations all leading to a showdown with the Anti-Monitor! How could that not excite you?
And, with this year being the 30th anniversary of the legendary story, the timing might be perfect.
Casting recommendation: Richard Armitage as the Monitor
Kingdom Come11 of 12Honestly, how could this not be number one?
Also, how could this even be possible given the sheer amount of story, back story, and characters involved, it seems like an impossible feat. Then again, Watchmen was deemed "unfilmable" for decades. The way we see it, the only real way to do this story justice is being done entirely in a CGI format with motion capture, similar to Beowulf.
While Marvels introduced the comic world to Alex Ross (unless you were a fan of his RPG art), it was Kingdom Come that launched his career into the stratosphere. Unfortunately, that signature style, his hyper-realistic painted would be "extremely difficult to emulate and animate," Tucker and others at Warner Animation have said. Mark Waid's knowledge and love of the DC Universe and Alex Ross's unique style for all the characters and locations make for a one-of-a-kind jaw-dropping love letter to DC Comics that would never be matched.
There's no doubt it would be an epic attempt to even start on this production, but this is still one of DC's greatest stories of the past 20 years, and maybe one day, we'll see it brought to life or something like it.
Casting recommendation: Richard Dean Anderson as Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent
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