At the world premiere of Justice League: War in New York Tuesday night, Warner Brothers had more than one tease about the future of DC animation. Producer James Tucker confirmed, for instance, that there will be a DC Animated Universe created, with continuity, based off of (but not directly adapted from) the New 52. "It's our own version of the New 52 universe, our own start," Tucker told Newsarama.
He reiterated during the panel that the future movies based off of New 52 storylines will maintain a continuity, but that they will also explore the possibility of original stories within the universe they create down the line. Thanks to the maintained continuity, they'll try to keep some voices consistent, though longtime voice director Andrea Romano did caution that since it's not a TV series, but a series of films, some may have to come in and out. She also said that if an art style or story style is considerably different, they'll recast to fit that. "We try to start from a story, then go to an art style, and let that dictate the rest," Romano told Newsarama.
Tucker was insistent, however, that they'll also have "classic" stories adapted from the 75-year history of the DC Universe and characters. Dream projects he and director Jay Oliva mentioned (careful to say these are dreams, and not in-development) included "Gotham by Gaslight," "Red Son," "Long Halloween," and "Kingdom Come." They said that the last one would be especially difficult, as Alex Ross's art would be hard to mimic and animate.
The next two movies (the only others for 2014) have already been announced, and they're both Non-New 52: Son of Batman and Batman: Assault on Arkham. However, thanks to an after-credits scene for Justice League: War, the next New 52 film was heavily teased. The after-credits scene was popularized, of course, by Marvel Studios live-action films, and DC Animation tried it out with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, teasing the future of a New 52 animated universe in that after-credits sequence.
After the devestation to Earth due to the attack by the forces of Apokolips, a shot of the ocean is shown. In the water lay swathes of dead fish and other sealife - and then waves start from the middle of the water. A vessel rises, and with what sure seems to be the helmet of Orm, Ocean Master (Aquaman's brother). In his arms lie a dead old man. Ocean Master says, "The Surface Dwellers have killed our king. This is an act of war. And they will pay."
While the panelists couldn't or wouldn't say any more about the scene or what it implied, they did reiterate that they had plans for Aquaman. We asked WB point-blank if we'd see a movie in 2015 called "Throne of Atlantis," the storyline that crossed over between Aquaman and Justice League in the New 52.
"You'll see a movie with Atlantis in the title."
As for beyond Aquaman and the "Throne of Atlantis" for their version of the New 52? WB isn't talking, but said they're looking at both "the most popular" and "some of the off-the-wall stuff" that has been seen in the New 52 so far.
Shazam replaces Aquaman as a founding member of the Justice League in War, with DC/WB Animation giving the reason that they wanted to save Aquaman's introduction for a film revolving around the character. Shazam also joins the Justice League in the comics in April, 2014.
More from the Justice League: War premiere soon. The film is available digitally now, and on DVD/Blu-Ray February 4, 2014.