Here's DC's plan to handle 'continuity' in the new animated shared universe

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Apr 28, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

Though DC is still ramping up toward a 2018-ish big-screen Justice League movie, the company’s animated wing is more than a few steps ahead. So how do they make it work?

With the latest animated continuity flick Son of Batman on shelves now, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment supervising producer James Tucker chatted with Comic Book Resources about how they keep it all straight. 

It’s an intriguing peek into how the company is handing its animated lineup, planning out a connected universe along with the usual schedule of standalone animated film releases. As Tucker puts it, there’s room for both, and it’s interesting to see how they decide what to take and keep from the comic canon.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Yeah, I think that across the board we feel that way because the great thing about doing the DC stuff is that synergy isn't enforced on us. We want to do a Damian story, and the movies aren't doing that, that's fine, you know. They're letting us show different facets of the same character in different ways without having to, you know, worry about stepping on other divisions toes, so that's great… Well, the thing is we want continuity, but we don't want to be hamstrung by it. So if there's a story that happened pre-New 52 that we think is a strong story, we'll adapt it into our universe. So that it doesn't rule out things that have already been pre-New 52.

[W]e’re not strictly doing New 52, meaning just because New 52 did it, it doesn't mean we can't veer from that. We're just piggybacking what we're doing by changing the universe and creating a connected universe within the DTVs. That wasn't done before. Before it was just each movie was its own thing, an adaptation of a classic story. So we're trying something different by actually having almost an OVA version of the DC universe where there's connectivity between the movies. So DC's on board with that. Home video wants it. You know, we want it, because it's kind of like having a series without having a network. So it's all good. I think if fans come into it open, if they view it as its own thing, I think they'll enjoy it more, and if they're not trying to 'A/B' it with what they've already read.”

In case you haven’t seen it, the surprisingly good Son of Batman is a sequel to Justice League: War, and follows along in the same continuity, digging deeper into the Batman mythos. The film also introduces us to everyone from Damian Wayne to Talia al Ghul and Nightwing — and we’re absolutely digging this version of Nightwing, by the way.

Have you been following DC’s animated efforts? What do you think?

(Via Comic Book Resources)