Unlike the floundering cinematic universe of DC Comics, the animated department has managed to create stellar adaptations of fan-favorite properties time and again. Sure, not all of them are amazing, but even the worst ones manage to have some redeeming qualities, even if that’s just the gorgeous art style. And now, to take things one step further, Batman: Death in the Family will mark Warner Bros. Animation’s first stab at interactive storytelling.
The trailer, which was released today, is a re-imagining of a story arc from the late ‘80s called Batman: A Death in the Family. In it, Batman and Robin’s relationship experiences some serious friction, which eventually leads to Jason Todd’s iteration of the Boy Wonder running away from home. The story follows Todd’s search for his biological mother and ends with the Joker getting involved with a plan that leads to Todd and his mother’s deaths.
There’s also a really interesting parallel here between the interactive animated movie and the comic books, because readers of the series were essentially allowed to choose whether Robin lives or dies by calling in on a number that was printed in ads for the final issue. So, it certainly does seem like the right storyline to start with for an interactive experience.
Of course, we’ve seen this style of storytelling used before in Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but this might be the most famous property to ever make use of the format. And judging from the trailer, it looks like there will be plenty of choices to make and multiple endings to choose from.
If you’re looking for some more great animated movies featuring the Dark Knight though, Netflix is currently streaming Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, an all-time classic. In fact, overall it’s been a pretty strong year for DC Animated Movie Universe releases with titles like Justice League Dark: Apokolips, which was reportedly the conclusion of the “New 52”-inspired animated universe, Superman: Red Son, the upcoming Superman: Man Of Tomorrow, and now the experimental and interactive Batman: Death in the Family.