After releasing a rather robust line of DC animated films in 2016, Warner Bros. Animation looks to continue that trend in 2017, having just debuted a breathtaking new trailer for Justice League Dark. Showcasing characters that are no stranger to the magical arts and deal with the darker corners of the DC Universe (well, obviously), this movie charts bold new territory for superhero filmmaking, which we’ll discuss momentarily.
When a supernatural force is the cause of a global threat and is deemed too severe for the usual heroes to handle, Batman (Jason O’Mara) recommends calling in none other than John Constantine, a role thankfully reprised by Matt Ryan, who played everyone’s favorite exorcist on the unfortunately short lived TV series. This eventually leads to involving other beloved DC characters not as well known to the mainstream such as Zatanna (Camilla Luddington), Swamp Thing (Roger R. Cross), Deadman (Nicholas Turturro), and Etrigan (Ray Chase).
That said, the eclectic cast is rounded out by the following: Superman (Jerry O’Connell), Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson), Ritchie (Jeremy Davies), Felix Faust (Enrico Colantoni), Destiny (Alfred Molina), and Green Lantern John Stewart (Roger R. Cross, who is pulling double duty).
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Let it also be known that the film has had an R-rating bestowed upon it by the MPAA. This is likely due to the recent success of Batman: The Killing Joke, which probably persuaded WB to become more liberal when it comes to including mature themes in animation. And although “some disturbing violence” played a part in that, one has to wonder if John Constantine’s trademark foul mouth will carry over from the comic books.
With WB giving so much creatively leeway on this project, we can’t help but think it may be a test run for Doug Liman’s eventual live action Justice League Dark movie, whatever it ultimately ends up being called. Let us not forget that Arrow’s version of the Suicide Squad was meant to test the waters seeing how the mainstream would receive them before giving a green light to a movie. Having said that, you can likely see how a parallel can be drawn.
As of now, no concrete Blu-Ray and DVD release date for Justice League Dark has been set other than a vague target of “early 2017.” But given WB’s habit of releasing their first quarter animated films in either January or February, smart money says it will arrive around then.