2020 was a big year for animated DC movies. First, the DC Animated Movie Universe timeline wrapped up with Justice League: Apokolips War (although the Constantine: The House of Mystery epilogue followed in 2022), and a few months later, the Tomorrowverse timeline kicked off with Superman: Man of Tomorrow. The latest installment of that latter continuity, Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One, is now out, and the next two parts are slated as upcoming DC movies for later this year. As it turns out though, not only is Crisis ending the Tomorrowverse, but producer Butch Lukic informed CinemaBlend that this has been “reluctantly” planned since the beginning.
When I recently interviewed Lukic alongside writer Jim Krieg and director Jeff Wamester following Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One’s release on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, I started off our conversation asking the producer what made now the right time to adapt Crisis for the Tomorrowverse, which was only seven movies deep until now. He responded:
Well it wasn’t, it was just preplanned. [It was] five, six years ago where we laid out 10 movies that we were gonna do. Because we were basically given 10 movies only, and then you’re out, you’re done. Originally me and Jim had a ten-movie arc that really didn’t have Crisis, but then [executive producer] Sam Register and [Warner Bros. Animation Executive Vice President] Peter Girardi wanted Crisis to be the finality. So reluctantly I said ‘Ok, what else can I do about it? We’ll do it, hopefully we just never get to it.’… I was hoping to out of there before then.
A 10-movie arc is a notable decrease from the 16 movies that comprised the DC Animated Movie Universe from 2013 to 2020. Still at least now we know this film series was always intended to last that long as opposed to being cut abruptly short. I am curious about how it as decided to give the Tomorrowverse a finite run from the start, as opposed to just letting it run indefinitely and later deciding to end it. Still, there’s something to be said about knowing far in advance when that ending will come, that way there’s no need to worry about unresolved plot threads.
More importantly, of all the ways to wrap up an animated continuity, adapting Crisis on Infinite Earths is arguably one of the best, if not at the top of the list. The original 12-issue limited series, which was written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Pérez, saw the DC multiverse collapsing and all of DC lore being contained to just one Earth. Granted, the multiverse would later be reestablished, but this storyline nonetheless launched a new era for DC, and its effects continue to be felt decades later. Crisis was previously adapted in the Arrowverse as a five-episode event in late 2019 and early 2020.
Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One, places Matt Bomer’s Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash, front and center, as viewers watch him revisit key moments in his life and be among the many heroes recruited by the Anti-Monitor to prevent the destruction of the multiverse. Part One’s A+ voice cast also includes Jensen Ackles as Batman, Darren Criss as Superman, Stana Katic as Wonder Woman, Meg Donnelly as Supergirl/Harbinger, Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow and Zachary Quinto as Lex Luthor, among many others.
It hasn’t been announced yet when Part Two and Part Three will be released, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information and more news on the Tomorrowverse’s final hurrah. All of this continuity’s pre-Crisis movies can be streamed now with a Max subscription.