Another year, another story featuring Jason Todd as the Red Hood from the fine folks at 828 Studios, who have elevated what started as just a cool, fun fan-made story into an ongoing series with some seriously high production value. They reached out to us last week and offered to give ComicBook.com readers a first look at the trailer for their forthcoming third season, and you can check it out exclusively above. This time around, according to Ian Lang -- who stars in the series, as well as working as one of the writers and direftors -- this is a more stand-alone season than last year's, making it an easy place to jump in even if you haven't been keeping up.
The project has been financed partially using crowdfunding, and at this point it has become clear that the fans watching are as much a part of the project as Lang is in some ways. Certainly, enthusiasm for the series only seems to increase as it goes, and more people find old episodes on YouTube and binge to catch up.
"The scale of this Season has been turned up to a new level for sure," Lang told ComicBook.com. "Higher budget, higher production value, more intense and professional stunts and camerawork, everything has been taken to the next level. Despite the challenges of producing media this year, this really is the Season that we have wanted since the beginning and we can’t wait to finish production and share it with all of you!"
Centering on the Jason Todd character, the Red Hood series is inspired by the Under the Red Hood storyline, and the adventures that followed, which saw Batman's second (and long-dead, at that time) Robin return, first as a villain and later as an antihero that wavers between being part of the Bat-Family and somebody who has little patience for Batman.
It is not a straight adaptation, though, and while the tone and look of Red Hood are obviously informed by the comics (and animated movies, and video games) featuring the character, it sometimes feels more like the Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel era of Nightwing, where the tone and look of the book were very different to what was going on in the Batman titles, and a battery of new supporting characters made Dick Grayson feel fresh.
"The awesome thing about this Season is that it does exist on its own," Lang explained. "Of course, you'll have more context [if you have watched from the beginning] -- and being the third part of a whole, it does reference the other seasons, including bringing in some fan-favorite original characters. So you can definitely watch it on its own, but if you’re a Batman, Red Hood, and DC Comics fan, watch the previous two seasons and enjoy the full story!"
Lang describes the project as a labor of love; certainly it's always dicey creating expensive and high-production-value fan films, since the IP is owned by someone else who can make your life a headache (though it's fairly unusual for them to do so). That means you have to be willing to put all of this work in and roll the dice to make sure the eyeballs are there to support it on YouTube, and nobody at DC or Warners is going to cry foul.
"This has been a huge project, and a labor of passion, for the past 3 years," Lang said. "All of the Seasons, perhaps most especially this third Season, with everything 2020 has thrown at all of us, have been difficult to make without a ton of what many would consider traditional returns. However, we love these characters, and it is such an honor that people enjoy what we do. Our whole goal with this series is to bring light to often under-represented characters while also making them feel like real people. I really enjoy developing the brotherly relationships within the Bat-family and putting them up against some awesome villains. We’re so excited that we can continue this journey to completing our story and that our incredible fans have allowed us to successfully fund our last two seasons with $15,000 and $20,000 Kickstarter campaigns. Our fans are so incredible and we are so beyond humbled that they enjoy our content, which is why we are excited to release our third Season on our YouTube Channel and we hope that superhero fans everywhere will check out what we do. We’ve worked very hard to make an awesome series, so check out Seasons one and two, and enjoy the new trailer for Season 3!"
Subscribe to their page, and keep an eye on ComicBook.com, to be among the first to know when the new season premieres in September. Are you excited to see what's next? Let us know in the comments or hit up @russburlingame on Twitter to talk about it!