Warner Bros. has announced that they are reviving a format from 2010. The last time around, original shorts featuring various characters from the DC Universe were attached to three full-length films. The Spectre, Jonah Hex and Green Arrow were the characters featured in the three shorts from 2010 that were then collected together for the release of Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, which was longer than the rest of the shorts and anchored the collection. Catwoman even got in on the mix as being the last of the shorts produced, but never released outside of the special features for Batman: Year One in 2011.
This time around, Warner Bros. is bringing back DC Showcase with five new shorts featuring again a wide variety of characters that may not otherwise get a chance in the spotlight by themselves. Starting with the release of Batman: Hush this summer, four films will feature four new shorts attached and then be collected in a new collection in late 2020. The one of note for the Batman Universe is that the collection will be anchored by a Batman: Death in the Family story. Here are the details on the shorts.
Sgt. Rock is executive produced and directed by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) from a script by award-winning comics writers Louise Simonson & Walter Simonson and Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen). 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. Karl Urban (Star Trek & Lord of the Rings film franchises) provides the voice of Sgt. Rock. Also voicing characters in Sgt. Rock are Keith Ferguson, William Salyers and Audrey Wasilewski.
Adam Strange is produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Batman Unlimited franchise), who also conceived the original story – which is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Constantine: City of Demons). 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. Charlie Weber (How To Get Away with Murder) provides the voice of Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase and Fred Tatasciore.
Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” Death is produced & directed by Sam Liu (Justice League vs. The Fatal Five) and written by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood). In the story, Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons, meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy … and eventual death. Leonardo Nam (Westworld) provides the voice of Vincent, and Jamie Chung (The Gifted, Big Hero 6) is the voice of Death. The cast includes Darin De Paul, Keith Szarabajka and Kari Wahlgren.
The Phantom Stranger has Bruce Timm (Batman: The Killing Joke) at the helm as executive producer & director, and the short is written by Ernie Altbacker (Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). Set in the 1970s, 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. Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) gives voice to The Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Impastor) provides the voice of Seth. The Phantom Stranger also features the voices of Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.
The press release also stated that the shorts are sure to include a variety of Easter eggs for fans as well. No details on the Death in the Family short were released as more information will be made available in 2020. After almost ten years this new content seems to be a push for even more content overall, possibly even for the DC Universe streaming service in addition to unique content for the animated films releases. Looking forward to a new collection of shorts?