Ever since it debuted back in 2007, Warner Bros’ line of DC Animated Original Movies has adapted some of the most popular and influential DC comics storylines as animated features. It’s a list that includes everything from ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ to ‘Flashpoint’, but every project has to start somewhere, and this one started with the death and return of Superman. And now, a decade later, they’re taking another swing at it.
While ‘Superman: Doomsday’ – the original animated adaptation of the tale – was, generally speaking, a critical and commercial success (it had to be to spawn a line that now includes more than thirty titles), it was also a pretty radical departure from the source material. And of course, it was. The comic book version of the story was originally published across nearly forty issues spread over the better part of a year. Suffice to say, that’s a lot of story to fit into a seventy-five minute movie. But with a decade of experience and more resources at their disposal, the DC Animation team is now in a position to do the story justice in a way that they simply wouldn’t have been able to eleven years ago.
This time around, the adaptation will be spread across two films, not unlike their prior adaptation of ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. The first, coming this summer, is dubbed ‘The Death of Superman’ and it will be followed early next year by ‘Reign of the Supermen’. And now, we have our first proper look at ‘The Death of Superman’ thanks to a newly released trailer for the film, which you can find here:
The trailer focuses, as one might expect, on Doomsday’s initial appearance and the relentlessness with which he tears through the Justice League prior to and immediately after Superman’s arrival. That’s actually one way in which this new adaptation may improve upon the source material. In the film, the Justice League consists of exactly who you’d expect: Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and so on. When the original comics were published in 1992, however, the Justice League had a decidedly more B-list roster. With all due respect to those characters, there’s a greater dramatic weight to seeing a hero struggle to hold her own against an implacable foe when it’s Wonder Woman as opposed to, say, Maxima.
‘The Death of Superman’ stars Jerry O’Connell, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham, Matt Lanter, Jason O’Mara, Shemar Moore, Rocky Carroll, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, and Patrick Fabian. The animated feature is co-directed by Jake Castorena and Sam Liu, and will be available on home video on August 7, 2018.