DC Universe Animated Original Movie
Logo from 2017 onward
Years2007–present
Miscellaneous
Distributed byWarner Bros. Home Entertainment
CountryUnited States

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies (also known as DC Universe Original Movies or DC Universe Movies or DC Animated Movies) are a series of American direct-to-video superhero animated films based on the DC Comics characters and stories produced primarily by Warner Bros. Animation. The films are usually stand-alone projects that are either adaptations of popular works or original stories. From 2013 to 2020, the DC Animated Movie Universe was a sub-series featuring several movies that took place in a shared universe, influenced predominantly from The New 52. They are usually made for an older audience compared to the DC animated universe and other projects, and also featuring DCAU alumni such as Bruce Timm, who mainly served as executive producer or as producer until Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, before returning for Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

Since it first began with 2007's Superman: Doomsday, the series has been well received being praised by fans, critics, with consistently good sales.

Premise

Original logo from 2007 to 2012
Original logo from 2007 to 2012

Unlike earlier animated DC films (most of which also involved Bruce Timm and were part of the DC animated universe), the films in the line are aimed at a more adult audience, often containing profane language, stronger violence, sexual scenes and more mature themes. The art styles for the films are also generally more realistically proportionate. The majority of the films are rated PG-13 by the MPAA with the exception of All-Star Superman and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, which are rated PG, and Batman: The Killing Joke, Justice League Dark, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, and Injustice, which are rated R. Many of the films are adapted from stories originally featured in DC print comics and graphic novels. As of 2021, 45 feature films and fourteen short films have been released, with additional films slated for future releases until 2022.

In terms of continuity, the films are usually stand-alone, with exceptions being Batman: Gotham Knight (which takes place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight), Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and its sequel Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and its sequel Justice League: Doom, the DC Animated Movie Universe and the DCAU-related films Batman and Harley Quinn and Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, which also feature several role reprises from various actors. The usual runtime is around 75 minutes.

From 2007 to 2015, most of the films were voice directed by Andrea Romano, the last one being Justice League: Gods and Monsters, while the films since 2016 starting with Batman: Bad Blood were voice directed by Wes Gleason.

The films are generally released direct-to-video, but Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman and Harley Quinn, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen were also given limited releases in theaters.[1]

Released films

Title Release date Continuity
Superman: Doomsday September 21, 2007 Standalone
Justice League: The New Frontier February 26, 2008 Standalone
Batman: Gotham Knight July 8, 2008 Nolanverse (unofficial)[2]
Wonder Woman March 3, 2009 Standalone
Green Lantern: First Flight July 28, 2009 Standalone
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies September 29, 2009 Superman/Batman[3]
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths February 23, 2010 Standalone
Batman: Under the Red Hood July 7, 2010 Under the Red Hood/Death in the Family
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse September 28, 2010 Superman/Batman[3]
All-Star Superman February 22, 2011 Standalone
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights July 7, 2011 Standalone
Batman: Year One October 18, 2011 Year One/Dark Knight Returns[4][5]
Justice League: Doom February 28, 2012 Standalone
Superman vs. The Elite June 12, 2012 Standalone
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns September 25, 2012 (part 1);

January 29, 2013 (part 2)

Year One/Dark Knight Returns[4][5]
Superman: Unbound May 7, 2013 Standalone
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox July 30, 2013 DCAMU[6]
Justice League: War February 4, 2014 DCAMU
Son of Batman May 6, 2014 DCAMU
Batman: Assault on Arkham July 29, 2014 Arkhamverse[7]
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis January 13, 2015 DCAMU
Batman vs. Robin April 7, 2015 DCAMU
Justice League: Gods and Monsters July 28, 2015 Standalone
Batman: Bad Blood January 20, 2016 DCAMU
Justice League vs. Teen Titans March 29, 2016 DCAMU
Batman: The Killing Joke July 22, 2016 Standalone
Justice League Dark January 24, 2017 DCAMU
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract March 31, 2017 DCAMU
Batman and Harley Quinn August 15, 2017 DC Animated Universe
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight January 23, 2018 Standalone
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay March 27, 2018 DCAMU
The Death of Superman July 24, 2018 DCAMU
Reign of the Supermen January 15, 2019 DCAMU
Justice League vs. the Fatal Five March 30, 2019 DC Animated Universe[8][9]
Batman: Hush July 20, 2019 DCAMU
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines October 5, 2019 DCAMU
Superman: Red Son February 25, 2020 Standalone
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War May 5, 2020 DCAMU
Superman: Man of Tomorrow August 23, 2020 Tomorrowverse
Batman: Soul of the Dragon January 12, 2021 Standalone
Justice Society: World War II April 27, 2021 Tomorrowverse
Batman: The Long Halloween June 22, 2021 (part 1);

July 27, 2021 (part 2)

Tomorrowverse
Injustice October 19, 2021 NetherRealm Studios's Injustice series

Upcoming

Catwoman: Hunted

An animated movie written by Greg Weisman (the producer of Young Justice and creator of Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man) centered on Catwoman titled Catwoman: Hunted is in development, produced in an anime style under the direction of Shinsuke Terasawa, with the voice cast of Elizabeth Gillies as Catwoman, Stephanie Beatriz as Batwoman, Jonathan Banks as Black Mask, Steve Blum as Solomon Grundy, Lauren Cohan as Julia Pennyworth, Keith David as Tobias Whale, Zehra Fazal as Talia al Ghul and Nosferata, Jonathan Frakes as King Faraday and Boss Moxie, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, Kelly Hu as Cheshire, Andrew Kishino as Mr. Yakuza and Domino 6, Eric Lopez as Domino 1, Jacqueline Obradors as La Dama and Ron Yuan as Doctor Tzin. The film is now set for a February 8, 2022 release.[10]

Green Lantern: Beware My Power

Announced at DC Fandome on October 16, 2021. Scheduled to be released in summer 2022.[11]

Battle of the Super Sons

Announced at DC Fandome on October 16, 2021. Scheduled to be released in Fall 2022, it will be the first DC Universe movie to be CGI.[11]

Short films

DC Showcase

Year Title Notes
2010 The Spectre Featuring the Jim Corrigan version of the Spectre (voiced by Gary Cole), this short is included with Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. The short has Det. Jim Corrigan investigating the murder of a high-end movie executive, ultimately becoming the Spectre to hunt down his killers. The short features supporting cast members Alyssa Milano, Jeff Bennett, Rob Paulsen and Jon Polito.
Jonah Hex Featuring Jonah Hex (voiced by Thomas Jane), this short is included with Batman: Under the Red Hood. Set in the Old West, the short follows a disfigured bounty hunter who must go up against a ruthless swindler in order to retrieve the body of an outlaw. The short features supporting cast members Linda Hamilton, Jason Marsden, Michael Rooker and Michelle Trachtenberg.[12]
Green Arrow Featuring Green Arrow (voiced by Neal McDonough), this short is included with Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. The short follows Oliver Queen, who is waiting for his girlfriend at the airport. Ultimately, he must become Green Arrow in order to foil an assassination plot that sees a young princess become the target of several assailants. The short features supporting cast members Malcolm McDowell as Merlyn, Steven Blum as Count Vertigo, Grey DeLisle reprising her role as Black Canary from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, John DiMaggio and Ariel Winter.[13][14][15]
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Featuring Superman and Captain Marvel, this short is included with the DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection. It features George Newbern and Jerry O'Connell reprising their roles of Superman and Captain Marvel from Justice League Unlimited, as well as featuring Zach Callison as Billy Batson, James Garner as Shazam, Kevin Michael Richardson as Mister Tawky Tawny, Arnold Vosloo as Black Adam, Josh Keaton and Danica McKellar.[16][17] The short film sees a young orphan being targeted by an otherworldly figure. He ultimately discovers an ancient wizard who gives him the ability to transform into a powerful hero, thus allowing him to team-up with Superman in order to properly fight back. The short is 24 minutes.
2011 Catwoman Featuring Catwoman, this short is included with Batman: Year One as a continuation of Catwoman's storyline. The short features Eliza Dushku reprising her role as Catwoman, Liliana Mumy as Holly Robinson and John DiMaggio as Rough Cut.[18] The film also stars Kevin Michael Richardson, Cree Summer and Tara Strong. The short was directed and produced by Lauren Montgomery and written by Paul Dini. The short sees Selina Kyle confronting an illegal diamond trafficking operation that has also resulted in the disappearance of several women. A special feature presentation was shown at the New York Comic Con.
2019 Sgt. Rock Featuring Karl Urban voicing the eponymous character. The short follows the title character, a worn-out veteran, suddenly finding himself leading a platoon of legendary monsters against an army of Nazi zombies. Keith Ferguson, William Salyers, and Audrey Wasilewski also star.[19]
Death Featuring Jamie Chung as the title character. The short follows Death as she meets a down on his luck artist named Vincent (voiced by Leonardo Nam) to help him to make peace with his inner demons and his death.[19]
2020 The Phantom Stranger Starring Peter Serafinowicz as the Phantom Stranger. In the 1970s, a young adult named Marcie, along with her friends, attend a party at an abandoned mansion hosted by the enigmatic Seth. However, when weird things start to happen, the Phantom Stranger must save her. Supporting cast includes Michael Rosenbaum (as Seth), Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin, and Roger Craig Smith.[19]
Adam Strange Starring Charlie Weber as the titular hero. The short sees Strange living in an asteroid mining colony with its population seeing him as an interplanetary derelict. He reveals his true nature by saving them from alien insects, while his origin story is revealed in flashbacks. Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase, and Fred Tatasciore also star.
Batman: Death in the Family An interactive, long-form animated short that is based on the comic storyline of the same name by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, and is a sequel to Batman: Under the Red Hood. Reprising their roles are Bruce Greenwood (as Batman), Vincent Martella (young Jason Todd), John DiMaggio (Joker) and Gary Cole (Commissioner James Gordon), respectively. Cole also provides the voice for Two-Face. Additionally, Zehra Fazal joins the cast as Talia al Ghul.[19][20]
2021 Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth! Starring Cameron Monaghan as the titular hero. The short that is based on Kamandi #29 follows Kamandi and his friends Prince Tuftan (voiced by Steve Blum) of the Tiger Kingdom and nuclear man Ben Boxer (voiced by Armen Taylor) as they are kidnapped by a gorilla cult led by Zuma (voiced by Adam Gifford) dedicated to finding the reincarnation of their god The Mighty One.[21][22]
The Losers Included in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
Blue Beetle Included in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two[23]
Upcoming
2022 Constantine: House of Mystery[11] An long-form animated short

Other short films

Year Title Notes
2015 Nightwing and Robin A 45-second short film set during the events of the DC Animated Movie Universe film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. The two main characters are called upon by Batman to find and capture the Scarecrow (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum) since he had to help the Justice League. While Jason O'Mara reprises Batman in this short, only his voice is heard while Nightwing and Robin have no dialogue. Talon (who would be featured in Batman vs. Robin) makes a silent cameo in the film.[24]

Other projects

Unannounced and possible projects

Beyond the list of announced projects, creators involved in various levels at DC Comics have brought up names of possible future projects.

Cancelled projects

Plans for sequels to the 2009 films Wonder Woman and Green Lantern: First Flight were shelved, as well as a planned film based on the 2003 miniseries Batgirl: Year One. Slower sales of the Wonder Woman film were cited,[38][39] although sales figures indicate that it was at least the #8 best-selling of the 25 DC Universe films released as of August 2015 (4 of the films that ranked higher than it include Blu-ray sales which have not been released for Wonder Woman).

In 2010, Timm stated that the production team originally planned to make an Aquaman film,[40] but at the end, the executives of Warner Bros. cancelled the project because their expectations about marketing were very low.[41]

During an interview on October 17, 2016, Jay Oliva revealed that he had an idea for a sequel to Batman: Assault on Arkham,[42] but following Oliva's departure from Warner Bros. Animation in 2017,[43] the project may have been pulled.

Reception

Sales performance

Sales figures below represent DVD sales and, when available, Blu-ray sales in the United States. International sales, digital sales, and rentals are not included. Blu-ray sales are not available for Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, or Batman: Gotham Knight.

Title Release date Director(s) Gross Ref.
Superman: Doomsday September 18, 2007 Bruce Timm / Lauren Montgomery / Brandon Vietti $12,553,273 [44]
Justice League: The New Frontier February 26, 2008 Dave Bullock $6,135,854 [45]
Batman: Gotham Knight July 8, 2008 Toshi Hiruma / Bruce Timm $9,753,273 [46]
Wonder Woman March 3, 2009 Lauren Montgomery $8,653,961 [47]
Green Lantern: First Flight July 28, 2009 Lauren Montgomery $9,835,565 [48]
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies September 29, 2009 Sam Liu $11,036,269 [49]
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths February 23, 2010 Sam Liu / Lauren Montgomery $9,287,091 [50]
Batman: Under the Red Hood July 27, 2010 Brandon Vietti $12,381,024 [51]
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse September 28, 2010 Lauren Montgomery $8,250,285 [52]
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam November 9, 2010 Joaquim Dos Santos $5,208,954 [53]
All-Star Superman February 22, 2011 Sam Liu $7,175,097 [54]
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights June 8, 2011 Christopher Berkeley / Lauren Montgomery / Jay Oliva $5,615,929 [55]
Batman: Year One October 18, 2011 Sam Liu / Lauren Montgomery $5,454,644 [56]
Justice League: Doom February 28, 2012 Lauren Montgomery $6,820,989 [57]
Superman vs. The Elite June 12, 2012 Michael Chang $3,210,153 [58]
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1 September 25, 2012 Jay Oliva $5,993,474 [59]
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2 January 29, 2013 $4,286,485 [60]
Superman: Unbound May 7, 2013 James Tucker $3,480,183 [61]
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox July 30, 2013 Jay Oliva $5,177,895 [62]
Justice League: War February 4, 2014 $5,219,941 [63]
Son of Batman May 6, 2014 Ethan Spaulding $6,971,006 [64]
Batman: Assault on Arkham August 12, 2014 Jay Oliva / Ethan Spaulding $5,822,525 [65]
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis January 27, 2015 Ethan Spaulding $4,553,554 [66]
Batman vs. Robin April 14, 2015 Jay Oliva $4,186,550 [67]
Justice League: Gods and Monsters July 21, 2015 Sam Liu $2,928,060 [68]
Batman: Bad Blood February 2, 2016 Jay Oliva $4,704,401 [69]
Justice League vs. Teen Titans March 26, 2016 Sam Liu $4,513,280 [70]
Batman: The Killing Joke October 10, 2016 Sam Liu $8,981,171 [71]
Justice League Dark January 24, 2017 Jay Oliva $3,150,426 [72]
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract March 31, 2017 Sam Liu $3,159,717 [73]
Batman and Harley Quinn August 15, 2017 $2,146,935 [74]
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight January 23, 2018 $4,578,824 [75]
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay March 27, 2018 $2,803,007 [76]
The Death of Superman July 24, 2018 Sam Liu / Jake Castorena $6,455,228 [77]
Reign of the Supermen January 13, 2019 Sam Liu $2,430,446 [78]
Justice League vs. the Fatal Five April 16, 2019 Sam Liu $2,964,615 [79]
Batman: Hush July 20, 2019 Justin Copeland $3,714,647 [80]
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines October 5, 2019 Sam Liu, Justin Copeland $1,702,121 [81]
Superman: Red Son February 25, 2020 Sam Liu $2,013,584 [82]
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War May 5, 2020 Matt Peters, Christina Sotta $5,378,655 [83]
Superman: Man of Tomorrow October 5, 2020 Chris Palmer $3,234,932 [84]
Batman: Soul of the Dragon January 12, 2021 Sam Liu $2,052,028 [85]
Justice Society: World War II May 10, 2021 Jeff Wamester N/A [86]
Total: $233,976,051
Average: $5,570,858

Critical response

Each film is linked to the "Critical response" section of its article.

Film Rotten Tomatoes
Superman: Doomsday 50% (6 reviews)[87]
Justice League: The New Frontier N/A
Batman: Gotham Knight 75% (8 reviews)[88]
Wonder Woman 83% (12 reviews)[89]
Green Lantern: First Flight 50% (6 reviews)[90]
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies N/A
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths N/A
Batman: Under the Red Hood 100% (7 reviews)[91]
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse N/A
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam N/A
All-Star Superman N/A
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights N/A
Batman: Year One 88% (8 reviews)[92]
Justice League: Doom N/A
Superman vs. The Elite 80% (5 reviews)[93]
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 1 100% (5 reviews)[94]
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2 N/A
Superman: Unbound 100% (5 reviews)[95]
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox 100% (5 reviews)[96]
Justice League: War 50% (6 reviews)[97]
Son of Batman 64% (11 reviews)[98]
Batman: Assault on Arkham 75% (8 reviews)[99]
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 57% (7 reviews)[100]
Batman vs. Robin 100% (5 reviews)[101]
Justice League: Gods and Monsters 88% (8 reviews)[102]
Batman: Bad Blood 100% (5 reviews)[103]
Justice League vs. Teen Titans 80% (5 reviews)[104]
Batman: The Killing Joke 39% (41 reviews)[105]
Justice League Dark 78% (9 reviews)[106]
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract 83% (6 reviews)[107]
Batman and Harley Quinn 45% (11 reviews)[108]
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight 75% (12 reviews)[109]
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay 88% (8 reviews)[110]
The Death of Superman 92% (13 reviews)[111]
Reign of the Supermen N/A
Justice League vs. the Fatal Five 100% (8 reviews)[112]
Batman: Hush 88% (17 reviews)[113]
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines 88% (8 reviews)[114]
Superman: Red Son 88% (16 reviews)[115]
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War 100% (18 reviews)[116]
Superman: Man of Tomorrow 100% (13 reviews)[117]
Batman: Soul of the Dragon 93% (14 reviews)[118]
Justice Society: World War II 81% (16 reviews)[119]
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One 100% (19 reviews)[120]
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two 100% (13 reviews)[121]
Injustice 60% (5 reviews)[122]

Continuities

Stand-alone films

The following films are stand-alone, and do not share continuity with each other or other films (note exceptions)

Superman/Batman

This continuity is based on the Superman/Batman storyline.

Justice League (JLA)

This continuity is based on JLA storylines published in 2000.[123][124]

Dark Knight Returns

This continuity is based on Frank Miller's Batman: Year One arc[4] and The Dark Knight Returns.[5]

DC Animated Movie Universe

Main article: DC Animated Movie Universe

A shared universe, with influences from The New 52 continuity and various DC eras and productions.

Tomorrowverse

A shared universe, with influences from various DC eras and productions which focuses on the early years of the heroes.

DC Animated Universe

Main article: DC Animated Universe § Films

This continuity is set in the DC Animated Universe (although the canonicity is open-ended)[8][9]

Other universes

References

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