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Batman: Death In The Family - What We Know So Far

The DC animated universe is in more ways than one the definitive cinematic experience for comic book fans. Some of the comics giant's best storylines have been adapted in cartoon form, often with resounding success. The DCAU's latest offering is no different, finally bringing one of Batman's darkest tales to life.

Batman's comic stories are some of the DCAU's most common sources of inspiration. He's an incredibly popular character with a backlog of emotionally rich and action-packed stories that have yet to receive recognition in live-action. A few notable titles include Batman: The Killing Joke and Batman: Under the Red Hood, which rival even the best live-action adaptations. Now, the Dark Knight is once again in the spotlight, this time in a retelling of the famed yet controversial Death in the Family story.

Published in November 1988, the original Death in the Family stands among the most iconic Batman stories to ever hit comic stores. Various mediums have covered it in the past, including 2015's Batman: Arkham Knight video game, but it hasn't been fully fleshed out on-screen. 

At last, the animation medium will tackle it first, giving fans an entirely new way to experience this age-old narrative. Here's everything revealed about it so far.

When does Batman: Death in the Family come out?

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put Matt Reeves' live-action The Batman is on holdBatman: Death in the Family remains firm on its impending release date. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it has no specific date, offering instead a vague time frame of Fall 2020. This could always be subject to change, but for the time being, it appears set in stone.

The quick turn-around is likely a result of the film's running time, which is much shorter than that of most DCAU offerings due to its unique structure. You see, this entry into the DC Showcase label is an interactive adventure that promises a handful of branching storylines that depend entirely on the viewer's choices. Therefore, each story is much shorter than the typically linear movie Warner Bros. animation releases. To compensate, the disc also includes shorts for other characters, like Sgt. Rock and Adam Strange.

Batman: Death in the Family boasts an all-star voice cast

One of the DCAU's hallmarks is its knack for assembling excellent voice casts, and Death in the Family appears no different. Since this is effectively a prequel to Under the Red Hood, many names from that film are returning for this one. Bruce Greenwood will once again play the Caped Crusader, and John Dimaggio will return for another round as The Joker. Meanwhile, Jason Todd is coming back for obvious reasons, butVincent Martella will provide vocals full-time in Jensen Ackles' stead.

In addition to the returning favorites, Death in the Family promises a few fresh faces to fill out its three alternate stories. For one, Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, will debut, as played by Zehra Fazal. Also, voice actor Gary Cole (Office Space's Bill Lumbergh himself!) will pull double-duty (pun intended) as both the villainous Two-Face/Harvey Dent and the Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Batman: Death in the Family's plot is eerily similar to its comic counterpart

Jim Starlin's original Death in the Family comic revolves around the capture and possible murder of Jason Todd's Robin. He and Batman attempt to apprehend The Joker, but the failed effort leaves the young crime fighter in the Clown Prince of Crime's clutches. Back in 1988, readers had the choice to vote on Todd's fate, calling in to determine whether he'd live or die. The poll left Robin without a pulse, and once again, fans will get to make that call, this time in a modern way.

The story for the Death in the Family movie is beat for beat the same as the comic until you reach the pivotal choice of what to do with Jason Todd. You can choose to leave him for dead, make it so that Batman saves him, or choose that he saves himself. Each option sends the narrative in a different direction that puts Robin's life on a new trajectory, ranging from becoming the Red Hood to taking up the Red Robin mantle (which traditionally goes to Todd's replacement, Tim Drake) to being a new version of Hush.

The Batman: Death in the Family trailer promises an emotional yet explosive thrill-ride

Alongside the official announcement for Batman: Death in the Family, Warner Bros. animation also unveiled an exhilarating trailer for the film. It gives a brief rundown of what the interactive features entail while also covering what viewers have to look forward to regarding the story. Per usual in the DC animation world, the art looks crisp, the action is insane, and the voice acting is top-notch. Check out the trailer above and get just a taste of what to expect when Batman: Death in the Family releases this fall! Which path will you choose?