The official trailer — which ties together the destinies of Batman (Bruce Greenwood), Jason Todd/Robin (Vincent Martella), and the Joker (John DiMaggio) — was released today and shows off some of the branching narrative choices you'll face. Following a Choose Your Own Adventure-type format, the film (produced, directed, and written by Young Justice co-creator Brandon Vietti) is directly inspired by 1988's four-issue "A Death in the Family" story arc, whose outcome was entirely voted on by readers. Batman: Under the Red Hood, the animated feature from 2010, influenced the project as well; IGN describes the upcoming interactive adventure as a prequel to that flick.
"Batman: Death in the Family is essentially a comic book come to life," Vietti said in a statement. “We’ve paid homage to the 1988 interactive experience of DC’s A Death in the Family comics release by giving fans a unique opportunity to craft their own story through a branching tool that can lead in multiple directions. The viewer gets to choose these characters’ paths, and each choice paves an alternate future for all of the characters and, ultimately, the story."
Zehra Fazal and Gary Cole co-star as Talia al Ghul and Two-Face/James Gordon respectively.
Watch the trailer now:
Batman: Death in the Family arrives this fall in an anthology combo pack that includes four animated DC Showcase shorts: "Sgt. Rock"; "Adam Strange"; "Death"; and "The Phantom Stranger." Moreover, the set includes several different "non-interactive" versions of Death in the Family: Under the Red Hood: Reloaded, Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge, and Red Hood’s Reckoning.
But make no mistake, the real draw here is that you get to decide the fate of the characters with the click of a button. Just be sure to choose...wisely.
"From the very first navigation card, we wanted to give the audience an impression of what they’re getting into, but then also give them something unexpected — maybe even something they’ll regret, so they have to think twice about every future choice they make,” Vietti continued. “Branched storytelling has to be stronger than just the gimmick of the choices — it has to be rewarding and offer new and worthwhile insights into the characters. It needs to involve you, and keep you searching for the next twist. So we sought to subvert expectations and do something very different.”
"Interactive storytelling offers an entirely new dimension of entertainment for DC animated movie fans, and an exciting look into potential titles for the future,” added Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family Marketing. "Brandon Vietti has crafted a uniquely involving, multi-tiered approach to captivating the audience with both popular story devices and some very unexpected plot twists."
DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family arrives on Blu-Ray and Digital Tuesday, Oct. 13. It'll run you $24.98 a pop in the United States. The Blu-Ray contains an extra five minutes of additional Death in the Family footage that you won't find in the digital release.