In 2016, Warner Bros. Animation released Batman: The Killing Joke, an adaptation of the Alan Moore and Brian Bolland graphic novel of the same way. In order to bring the notoriously dark story to life, Warner Bros. had to make Batman: The Killing Joke its first R-rated animated feature.
Warner Bros. Animation doubled down on the R-rating with the release of Justice League Dark in early 2017. However, the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Teen Titan: The Judas Contract, went back to the usual PG-13 rating.
Does that mean Warner Bros. Animation is done dabbling in R-rated material for the DC Universe Animated Original Movies? ComicBook.com asked producer James Tucker just that at WonderCon.
“It's hard to say. I will say this, that they have said that if the content merits the R they’ll look into it, they’re open to it, which was not something that was a part of the landscape until recently,” Tucker explains. “I like having that option because there’s certain things that you just can’t do without being a little edgy, without being a little more violent.”
There are plenty of dark ad violent stories in the DC Universe that can be adapted into animation, just as there a plenty of bright and fun ones. Warner Bros. Animation seems to have the right idea with matching the correct rating to the correct story.
The latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie is Teen Titan: The Judas Contract. In the film, led by Starfire, the Teen Titans – Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and the just-returned Nightwing – have built a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil; but their newest teammate, the mysterious and powerful Terra, may be altering that dynamic. Meanwhile, an ancient evil, Brother Blood, has awakened, and familiar foe Deathstroke is lurking in the shadows – both waiting to pounce. Ultimately, the Teen Titans will need to battle their enemies and their own doubts to unite and overcome the malicious forces around them in this twisting tale of intrigue, adventure, and deception.
Based on the original story by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract features the voices of Christina Ricci, Miguel Ferrer, Sean Maher , Taissa Farmiga, Jake T. Austin, Brandon Soo Hoo, Kari Wahlgren, Stuart Allan, Gregg Henry, Maria Canals-Barrera, Meg Foster, Crispin Freeman, Masasa Moyo, David Zayas, Jason Spisak, and Kevin Smith. The film is written by Ernie Altbacker, directed by Sam Liu, and produced by Sam Register, James Tucker, and Alan Burnett.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is available now on Digital HD and on Blu-ray on April 18.