Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Phantom Stranger, and Batman! Yes, please!
Warner Bros. and DC announced today that they are adding five new animated shorts to the DC Showcase. The Showcase is a collection of short features titling some of DC’s lesser famous characters. Each short is attached to a DC Animated feature-length film upon release. The initiative was considered long gone since we haven’t seen a new short since 2011’s Catwoman. But, with today’s announcement, it turns out that the DC Showcase has found new life.
Over the next couple of years, each new DC Animated film released will be accompanied by one of the new DC Showcase shorts. Titles include Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Phantom Stranger, and Death of the Neil Gaiman series Sandman. In late 2020, these first four shorts will be released as part of a collection alongside an original extended-length short, Batman: Death in the Family. Additionally, each short is to open with a live-action branding sequence that should include some surprising Easter eggs.
The first of the new shorts, Sgt. Rock, will be released alongside the upcoming animated film Batman: Hush in the summer of 2019. Besides the still image of Sgt. Rock himself, we also know that the short will be directed by DC animated legend Bruce Timm. Voicing Sgt. Rock will be Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings) accompanied by a cast that includes Keith Ferguson, William Salyers and Audrey Wasilewski. Here is the official synopsis for the new animated short:
“The original tale finds battle-weary Sgt. Rock thinking he has seen everything that World War II can dish out. But he is in for the surprise of his life when he is assigned to lead a company consisting of legendary monsters into battle against an unstoppable platoon of Nazi zombies.”
Adam Strange will most likely be released alongside Wonder Woman: Bloodlines expected in fall 2019. The space adventure will be produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Batman Unlimited franchise) and will star Charlie Weber (How To Get Away with Murder) as the voice of Adam.
“On a rugged asteroid mining colony, few of the toiling workers are aware that their town drunk was ever anything but an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a fissure into the home of a horde of deadly alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long.”
Most likely to attend 2019’s Batman: The Long Halloween will be Death, a short inspired by Neil Gaiman’s hit series Sandman. Brought to us from director Sam Liu (Justice League vs The Fatal Five) and writer J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood), Death will feature an original story. The film will feature Leonardo Nam (Westworld) as the voice of Vincent, and Jamie Chung (The Gifted, Big Hero 6) as the voice of Death.
“Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons, meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy … and eventual death.”
The Phantom Stranger will be the last of the four new shorts attached to features, and will most likely be released early 2020. Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) will again direct the original written by Ernie Altbacker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) will provide the voice of the titular character, accompanied by Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Impastor) and Natalie Lander.
“Set in the1970s, the short follows young adult Jess as she joins her friends at a party in a dilapidated mansion hosted by the mysterious Seth. When odd things begin to happen to Jess and her friends, the Phantom Stranger intervenes to save her from a dreary fate.”
There is not much information on Batman: Death in the Family besides being released in 2020 as part of a collected series with the other four previously mentioned shorts. It can be assumed that the extended-short will follow the plot of the popular comic storyline. Which would make this the only of the new DC Showcase that is not an original story.
With the DC Showcase considered long closed, this is an exciting announcement. Some of the shorts released in 2010 were also some of the DC Universe’s best additions, including the extremely popular Green Arrow animation. With this announcement, we can only hope that the DC Showcase has been officially opened and we can look forward to new mini-features attaching DC animated films for years to come. If not, at least we are going to get these five great new additions.