Batman Will Go Steampunk in ‘Gotham by Gaslight,’ the Next DC Animated Movie
While the unholy war between DC and Marvel movies continues unabated on the internet, fans of the former certainly seem to have a leg up when it comes to animated movies. Warner Bros. Animation, the animated branch of their comic book empire, has confidently been churning out high-quality animated movies while the movie franchise is discussed ad naseum, leading some fans to suggest that Warner Bros. Animation, not Warner Bros. proper, is the true powerhouse of the comic book company’s film market. The studio is so prolific - and often so much fun - that we even tackled a comprehensive ranking of all the movies released through 2016. Spoiler alert: Batman: Year One is still the best.
And while fans have been awaiting the latest Batman animated adventure, it seems we now have some insight into what follows that. As noted by ComicBook.com (via Heroic Hollywood), a sneak peek at the special features on the Batman and Harley Quinn video release revealed that the next animated Batman adventure will be Gotham by Gaslight, a 1989 one-shot that posited what would happen if Bruce Wayne hunted Jack the Ripper around the turn of the century. A steampunk Batman? You can practically hear the sound of credit cards swiping themselves.
Gotham by Gaslight is a particularly notable story for two reasons. First, there’s the fact that the one-shot was drawn by Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, which suggests that Warner Bros. Animation may take a different animation approach more reminiscent of Mignola’s work. And second, there’s also the one-shot’s place in comic book history. Gotham by Gaslight was arguably the first of the Elseworlds stories, a series of non-canonical DC multiverse adventures that would eventually become a core part of how they told stories. This might also open the door for Warner Bros. Animation to tackle even stranger stuff going forward, which would certainly provide them with a niche outside the movie franchise.
Either way, while Gotham by Gaslight will undoubtedly be another direct-to-video release, keep an eye out for the one-night-only theatrical screening via Fathom Events. That’s how this franchise rolls.