Fans Choose Robin’s Fate in Interactive Movie

Warner Bros. has unveiled a new trailer for Batman: Death in the Family. This adaptation will be part of an upcoming DC Showcase release that will, in total, include five shorts from throughout the publisher’s canon. At its heart will be a new version of this iconic story. But this time around, the viewer will be in control of Robin’s fate, as they will ultimately get to decide whether or not the young hero lives or dies. The studio has brought back the voice actors who originally brought elements of this story to life in the animated Batman: Under the Red Hood a decade ago.

The trailer opens up with Batman mourning his inability to save Jason Todd, setting up the stakes at hand. We find out that Joker is looking to sell uranium to terrorists. As the young hero winds up in trouble at the hands of the Clown Prince of Crime, we get a look at the interactive menus that will allow viewers to make tough decisions. It looks to be a unique experience.

Batman: Death in the Family represents the first-of-its-kind adaptation for Warner Bros.’ DC animated features as they take a stab at interactive storytelling, not unlike Netflix has done with experiments like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. It allows fans to choose where the story goes through navigation guided by the viewer’s remote control. The central story is an adaptation of the seminal 1988 DC comics. At the time, fans voted by telephone to determine the story’s ending. Specifically, whether not Robin would die. The interactive Blu-ray offers a myriad of options for how the story can unfold, with numerous twists and turns in the middle that lead to one of several possible endings.

The short is produced, directed and written by Brandon Vietti. In the new animated presentation, the infamous murder of Batman’s protege Jason Todd will be undone, and the destinies of Batman, Robin and The Joker will play out in shocking new ways. Viewers will make multiple choices to control the story. Batman: Under the Red Hood provides a baseline, but the story will also branch out in new directions, with several characters previously unseen in the original movie.

Bruce Greenwood (The Resident, Star Trek), Vincent Martella (Phineas and Ferb) and John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) all return to reprise their roles from Batman: Under the Red Hood. Greenwood as Batman, Martell as young Jason Todd and DiMaggio as The Joker, respectively. Zehra Fazal (Young Justice) as Talia al Ghul and Gary Cole (Veep) as both Two-Face and James Gordon round out the cast. Included in the set will also be the previously released shorts, Sgt. Rock, Death, Adam Strange and The Phantom Stranger.

Interactive content is becoming more popular, though still a niche thing. If this works, we could be seeing more twists on classic tales coming down the pipeline in the future. DC Showcase – Batman: Death in the Family is set to arrive via Blu-ray/DVD and Digital HD this fall. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself, which was originally debuted by IGN.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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