INTRIGUE, ADVENTURE AND DECEPTION TEST THE BONDS OF DC SUPER HEROES AS WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES TEEN TITANS: THE JUDAS CONTRACT ON BLU-RAY TM DELUXE GIFT SET, BLU-RAY TM COMBO PACK, DVD AND DIGITAL HD APRIL 18, 2017

Highly-Anticipated DC Universe Original Movie Featuring Never-Before-Seen Bonus Content; Deluxe Giftset includes Exclusive Blue Beetle Figurine

BURBANK, CA (February 16, 2016) — Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment bring one of the most momentous Teen Titans plotlines in comics history to animated life with the all-new, feature-length film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Inspired by the 1984 DC story arc from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on April 18, 2017.

The landmark Teen Titans story will be available on Blu-ray™ Deluxe Giftset ($39.99 SRP), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP) starting April 18, 2017.  The Blu-rayTM Combo Pack includes the movie in high definition on Blu-ray Disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet*. The Blu-ray™ Deluxe Edition will include all components of the Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, along with an exclusive figurine of Blue Beetle in a numbered, limited edition gift set. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract will be released via Digital HD on April 4, 2017.

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.

Christina Ricci (Zelda, Sleepy Hollow, The Addams Family) and the late Miguel Ferrer (NCIS: Los Angeles, RoboCop, Crossing Jordan) join the already established Teen Titans voice cast as Terra and Deathstroke, respectively. Returning Titans actors include Sean Maher (Firefly/Serenity, Batman: Bad Blood) as Nightwing, Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) as Raven, Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place, The Fosters) as Blue Beetle, Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series) as Beast Boy, Kari Wahlgren (Phineas and Ferb, Legion of Superheroes) as Starfire, and Stuart Allan (Batman vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood) as Robin/Damian. Gregg Henry (Scandal, The Killing, Payback) voices the villainous Brother Blood.

The voice cast also includes Maria Canals-Barrera (Wizards of Waverly Place) as Jaime’s mother, Meg Foster (They Live) as Mother Mayhem, Crispin Freeman (Justice League Action, Batman: Arkham games) as Speedy,  Masasa Moyo (Young Justice) as Bumblebee, David Zayas (Gotham, Dexter) as Jaime’s father, Jason Spisak (Young Justice) as Kid Flash, and Kevin Smith (Clerks, Geeking Out) as … himself.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, Teen Titans: The Judas Contract is directed by Sam Liu (Batman: The Killing Joke) from a screenplay by Ernie Altbacker (Justice League Dark). Sam Register is Executive Producer; James Tucker (Batman Bad Blood, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders) is Supervising Producer; and Alan Burnett (Justice League vs. Teen Titans) is co-Producer.

“Teen Titans: The Judas Contract pays homage to one of the truly legendary story arcs in DC’s Teen Titan series, one that fans have been requesting for years, so we are excited to release a film that should surpass their expectations,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing. “We are thrilled to deliver this complex and exhilarating story that tests the bonds between all members of the Teen Titans to both longstanding and new fans of all generations.”

Teen Titans: The Judas Contract Enhanced Content

Blu-ray™ Deluxe Giftset, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & Digital HD

• Sneak Peek - Batman and Harley Quinn: Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, featuring the talented creators and voice cast.

• Featurette - Titanic Minds: Wolfman and Perez: This revealing documentary explores a creative partnership that has lasted decades as Marv Wolfman and George Pérez come together to discuss their careers and one of the most famous runs in Teen Titan history, The Judas Contract.

• Featurette - Villains United—Deathstroke: When the super-soldier Deathstroke appears, the forces of good will be in the fight of their lives. This short featurette reveals the origin and unique abilities of this villain.

• Additional Sneak Peeks

• From the DC Comics Vault - Two Bonus Cartoons (Blu-ray™ Deluxe Giftset and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack only)

DVD

• Sneak Peek - Batman and Harley Quinn:  Sneak peek at the next DC Universe Original Movie, featuring the talented creators and voice cast.

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I'm sure trademark/copyright availability plays a part in who was selected to be the Teen Titans in this movie, but it sure is odd to see this grouping, given that the Judas Contract is so familiar to most of us and we remember it taking place during the classic New Teen Titans era.

Here they replace Kid Flash, Cyborg and Wonder Girl with Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and Nightwing. And instead of Dick Grayson as Robin they have Damian Wayne. Robin and Nightwing on the team at the same time? Yep, even though Robin doesn't make a cover appearance.

Kid Flash apparently has a part, as do Bumblebee and Speedy. But they're not on the team.

"Led by Starfire, " seemed odd enough!

 

Especially with two Robins on the team!

This seems so different to the original product - might we see a 'comicbook adaptation' following it?

Based on true fictional events!

Also -- and this only barely germane -- I have an attitude toward certain long-running teams, that they have to have a certain core group to "be" that team for me.

Any team that calls itself "Teen Titans" has to have a Robin, a Wonder Girl and a Kid Flash on it, or it is some other team. "The Young Heroes" or something. But not "Teen Titans."

Similarly, a team calling itself Avengers needs to have Thor, Iron Man and Captain America or it's not the Avengers. A Justice League without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman isn't the Justice League.

I do accept some substitution. On Avengers, for example, if I can't have the core trio of the founders, then I can accept Captain America leading some second-generation characters like Vision, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch. But I have to have Captain America, or it's a bunch of pretenders.

Similarly, I can be flexible on Teen Titans as long as you have a Robin, and Justice League as long as you have Superman. Those are the faces of those team, and without those faces, it's Jethro Tull without Ian Anderson. i.e., NOT Jethro Tull. If George and Ringo had hired two guitarists and called themselves The Beatles in 1971, would anyone have accepted them as The Beatles? Similarly, when the day comes when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards aren't available, the Rolling Stones is over -- no matter how many other bandmates, former bandmates or hangers-on you drag into the group, it's not the Rolling Stones any more.

I'm sure not everyone feels this way, or maybe do feel that way, but have different characters as their "must haves."

I TOTALLY agree with that Captain,

 It's why I can't get involved in the new 'everyone's a replacement version' of the Avengers and I'm looking forward to the trade of Mark Waid's Kooky Quartet new/old days.

Many of us remember that when the JLA started in the early Silver Age, Batman and Superman were members who were too busy to participate.

I came to the Teen Titan's when Raven formed the team, and the Avengers in the mid-1970's.  I think the only team I have the core concept for is the Fantastic Four, first comic I ever read or collected.  The Teen Titan's have had multiple incarnations on the tv so I don't really have a problem with this.  Can't afford it, but don't have a problem with it.

To me, there's a difference between mixing and matching various characters in a team's line-up in a relaunch or an adaptation to different media (some characters work better in live action than others, and certainly, SFX budget concerns have to be taken into account), and adapting what many consider to be landmark comic book stories with different casts.  To many, the Judas Contract is "the" Wolfman & Perez Titans' story, and it just seems weird, if not wrong, to tell it with different characters.  Imagine making a video based on the Galactus Trilogy, only starring the Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Hulk & Wolverine incarnation of the FF--while it could be an interesting story, there's no way it could be "The" Galactus Trilogy.

Richard Willis said:

Many of us remember that when the JLA started in the early Silver Age, Batman and Superman were members who were too busy to participate.

Understood, but I wasn't reading the book then.

I have a complete run of Justice League of America now (with the exception of Brave and Bold #28-30 and, I believe, the first issue) But I had to buy the first 15 or so issues at flea markets and such. And, of course, I've read the missing issues multiple times in various collections.

But that was out of order, and long after my "Golden Age." Which received wisdom says is about age 10, but for me was considerably earlier, as I taught myself to read with comic books before going to elementary school. My Golden Age started around 1962-63. (I wasn't 10 until 1968.) And by 1962, Superman and Batman were not only regularly featured in JLA, but they were in every issue.

This was due to what Commander Benson describes as one of four formulae that Gardner Fox utilized when writing Justice League of America. The first phase, as you describe, was when the World's Finest team never appeared (except to explain why they weren't appearing), and action was carried by the five core members (Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman) plus, after his intro in issue #4, Green Arrow. Fox's second phase was a "everybody into the pool" approach which featured all eight members plus The Atom when he joined in issue #14.

That was when I started reading. And phases three and four included Superman and Batman (especially the "Batmania" era, which was phase four),so my Silver Age memories never included a time when they didn't appear regularly. In fact, it would have baffled my 7-year-old self if a young Richard Willis showed up and said that Supes and Bats were deliberately excluded from early issues of a comic book that boasted it starred "The World's Greatest Super-Heroes!" Without Superman and Batman, that boast rings fairly hollow.

And still does. Even though I'm now aware of the period of which you speak, Superman and Batman belong on "MY" Justice League now and forever. Not only because of how my opinion was formed in my younger days, but because logic, common sense and, yes, justice demand that Superman and Batman be recognized for what they are: DC's premier superheroes.

All of which you know already, Richard. But I thought I'd blither on for those who wondered "What do you mean Superman and Batman were once not regularly featured on the Silver Age Justice League?" Here to explain it better than I could is an excerpt from a Commander Benson mythbuster column:

Myth 5:  Superman and Batman Rarely Took a Significant Part in JLA Adventures Until the “Bat-Craze” of 1966-7, When They Became Major Participants.

There is some truth in parts of that, but the overall statement is untrue.

Because of the constraints of (1) changing editorial fiats, (2) the burgeoning membership of the League, and (3) the need to come up with credible threats every month, Gardner Fox developed four formulae governing which heroes participated in JLA stories.  Each formula represented a specific phase of Silver-Age Justice League adventures.

Initially, Superman and Batman’s participation in JLA stories was severely curtailed.  Often, in the early days, they appeared in only a few panels of a given story, and sometimes, not at all.  Fox explained the reason for this in an interview published in the fanzine Batmania # 22 (Mar., 1977):  “I didn’t use Superman or Batman very much in the first few years of the Justice League.  [Superman editor] Mort Weisinger and [Batman editor] Jack Schiff didn’t want us to.  They thought I’d overexpose the characters.”

 Thus, that was Fox’s first formula.  Outside of infrequent exceptions (such as JLA # 1 and # 2), the World’s Finest Team was kept on the bench while the other five charter members and, later, Green Arrow handled all of the action.

 

 By early 1962, the initially high sales of JLA had begun to sag.  According to his autobiography, JLA editor Julius Schwartz met with DC publisher Jack Liebowitz over the slumping circulation, and he informed the publisher of Weisinger’s and Schiff’s territorial prohibitions against using their heroes in JLA.  Schwartz and Liebowitz agreed that the best way to restore JLA’s rating was to utilise DC’s two most popular characters.  According to Schwartz, Liebowitz instructed him to go back to his fellow editors and tell them “Superman and Batman belong to DC Comics and not to Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff!”

Now directed to include Superman and Batman in his plots, Fox shifted to his second formula, starting with JLA # 10 (Mar., 1962).  This was essentially to use the entire League membership, dividing the action equally among the eight super-heroes (nine, after the Atom joined, in issue # 14).  Fox kept his structure of dividing the League into three teams to handle components of the mission at hand, then bringing the whole group together at the end to face the main threat.  However, the sub-teams were more crowded, composed now of three heroes, instead of one or two.

 

Clearly, though, Superman and Batman’s active participation in League adventures began four years before the debut of the Batman television show launched the “Bat-Craze” that put Batman on the cover of practically every comic DC produced.

Fox soon found that employing all nine super-heroes equally in every story made it difficult to keep coming up with villains powerful enough to pose a genuine danger to the entire Justice League.  To remedy that problem, Fox came up with his third formula:  he would include every member of the League in each story, but would find a way to sideline some of them for a large part of the adventure.  He might have four or five members fall victim to the villain early in the plot, leaving the rest of the members to deal with the menace.  Or he might start out with only five or six members and bring in the remaining heroes at the end, cavalry-fashion.

He began using this structure in JLA # 23 (Nov., 1963).  Superman and Batman weren’t consistently relegated to the sidelined group; sometimes they were, sometimes they weren’t.  Throughout this phase, the World’s Finest Team got approximately the same exposure, overall, as every other member.

This third formula represented the shortest of the four phases.  By JLA # 29 (Aug., 1964), Fox began to simplify his format even more, introducing his “rotating membership” formula.  Now, JLA stories would not include every member, even briefly.  Fox’s scripts would call for usually only five members on hand, but sometimes six or seven.  The absent members would be explained away as being “tied up on urgent cases of their own”.

Shortly into this fourth phase, Julius Schwartz handed Fox another editorial fiat:  again, to increase sales, Schwartz dictated that the JLAers whose parent titles were selling the best---Batman, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman---would be featured most prominently in Fox’s JLA scripts.  To a lesser extent, the Atom and Wonder Woman would show up for missions.  And suddenly, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and J’onn J’onzz---at the bottom of the sales figures---found themselves tied up on urgent cases of their own almost all the time.

Soon after, when Batmania took hold of the country, the Masked Manhunter became the de facto star of JLA, with Superman, because of his close association with Batman, running a close second.  For fans who started reading JLA because of the newfound prominence of Batman and Superman, the Justice League Giant Annuals published during those years were perplexing, indeed.  The covers would place the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel in the forefront, eclipsing their fellow JLAers.  Yet, the stories within were reprints of those early tales when Superman and Batman were scarcely seen at all.

Talk about your bait-and-switch!

To a casual reader of JLA, who remembered how little the World’s Finest Team had been seen originally, their explosion of prominence in the title would have seemed like a sudden change.

But, actually, Superman and Batman had been right there in the thick of Justice League action for years.

 

I always thought that including Superman was a problem. Either he didn't need any other heroes or kryptonite would be in every story. He worked better when the villain was a sorcerer, since that was his other vulnerability. It's easier to explain yellow obstacles for Green Arrow than it is to explain how kryptonite is everywhere. If kryptonite was as easy to come by as it seemed, superman would never have survived into adulthood. 

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