One of the bigger offerings from the animated DCU in 2015 will be Justice League: Gods and Monsters – a film that is not based on the 2001 comic storyline of the same name, but is an original JL film narrative written by Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond), directed by Sam Liu (Batman: Year One, All-Star Superman), and featuring comic book industry icon Bruce Timm as a producer (though he’s also credited for co-developing the story and character designs).
Machinima, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have announced that they will also produce a three-part Gods and Monsters “animated shortform series,” with both Burnett and Timm lending a helping hand on development. The digital series is slated to debut on Machinima in Spring 2015 – an as-yet unspecified number of weeks before the Gods and Monsters animated feature is released later that same year.
Gods and Monsters, according to the official press release, will be exploring a “newly conceived reality” in the DC animated universe, where such Justice League members as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (among others) exist as much darker versions of the super-powered warriors that “people think they know.” The short series project will be called Justice Leagues: Gods and Monsters Chronicles and should, in theory, build up more interest in the Gods and Monsters feature; whether Gods and Monsters Chronicles will act as an extended prologue or a standalone narrative set in the same “newly conceived reality,” remains to be seen.
The DC animated film universe has not just provided worthwhile entertainment on its own of late, but several of its features have either had intriguing ties and/or direct connections to upcoming installments in the live-action DC Cinematic Universe. Case in point, in 2015 the animated feature Justice League: Throne of Atlantis will shift the spotlight more onto Aquaman – allowing the film to serve as a sneak peek (of sorts) at the Aquaman live-action movie that’s currently in early development.
Similarly, the recently-released Batman: Assault on Arkham animated feature (read our review) was, for all intents and purposes, a Suicide Squad movie in disguise – one that offers a teaser of what a live-action Suicide Squad movie (rumored to be in the works) could be like. We know there will be a Zack Snyder-led Justice League live-action film arriving in the future, so who knows – maybe Gods and Monsters will offer some clues as to what we can expect from that project… and continue the trend of making DC’s multi-platform superhero universe feel more organized and uniform.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles will premiere on Machinima in the second quarter of 2015 (the earlier part most likely), not too long before the Justice League: Gods and Monsters animated feature is made available for home viewing.