In January, Warner Bros. assembles the supernatural heroes of the DC universe for its latest animated movie Justice League Dark, which will also mark the second R-rated release from the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line after this year’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Speaking to Empire Online (via Comic Book), director Jay Oliva has been discussing the R-rating, and how The Killing Joke has paved the way for the filmmakers to go darker with their DC movies.
“If I knew that I could get away with a rated R, I would have made it a hard R. When we make these films, our goal is always a PG-13, so there’s certain things that we know we can get away with and things that we can’t; we can’t do beheadings and we can’t do arterial blood spray or anything like that. I’m just trying to tell the best story that I can, and from there we edit some things out, or we try to hide things. Instead of showing a beheading, we’ll cut to the shadow on the wall as you see the beheading in the shadow, but you don’t actually see it. The Killing Joke was kind of a godsend in the sense of, because of its success and because Home Video took a chance of releasing it as an R, it paved the way for this to be an R.”
When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession – but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege – before it’s too late for all of mankind.
Justice League Dark is set for release on January 24th 2017 on Digital HD and February 7th 2017 and features a voice cast that includes Matt Ryan as John Constantine, Jason O’Mara as Batman, Camilla Luddington as Zatanna, Nicholas Turturro as Deadman, Ray Chase as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross as John Stewart/Swamp Thing, Jeremy Davies as Ritchie Simpson, Rosario Dawson as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell as Superman, Enrico Colantoni as Felix Faust, and Alfred Molina as Destiny.