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How DC’s Animated Injustice Movie Handles The Violence In The Very R-Rated Story, According To The Producer

Superman punching through Joker's chest in Injustice
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Because the Injustice video games and their accompanying comic book tie-in series are more violent compared to most of the “main” DC Comics stories, it stood to reason the animated Injustice movie would similar levels of gore. Sure enough, Injustice is one of a handful of animated DC movies that have been slapped with an R rating, specifically for “bloody violence.” But the despite the different medium through which this story was being told, it actually wasn’t a problem for the Injustice team to navigate the graphic violence.

I recently spoke with producer Rick Morales about his work on the Injustice movie, and after noting how it didn’t skimp on the gore and brutality, I asked if there was any concern about going too far with the violence in this adaptation. He answered:

No. In fact, it may have been just the opposite. There was some question about, ‘Well, do we show [Superman] punching a whole through Joker’s chest? Can we do that here?’ Like most things, I’m like, ‘Well, let’s do it and let them tell us no.’ And we never got that. There is some calculation, like when we do the Mortal Kombat films, we really go for it and we really get over the top. But I think that there’s a difference in the violence that happens in this film than the violence that happens in the Mortal Kombat films. These deaths aren’t played for laughs, they’re meant to hit home. Maybe a little less of the exploding eyeballs, more of the heart.

The Mortal Kombat movies Rick Morales is referencing are last year’s Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge and Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms from earlier this year, both of which also hail from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. But like Morales highlighted, the key difference between the violence in those movies and what’s on display in Injustice is these animated Mortal Kombat tales can get increasingly ridiculous with the way characters are killed off, whereas in Injustice, there need to be more logical and emotional reasons for why certain characters were killed off in such disturbing ways.

Since this is a spoiler-free zone, you’ll need to watch Injustice for yourself to learn who gets iced in this movie, though one death the marketing team certainly isn’t hiding is The Joker’s. Just like in the original Injustice continuity, this movie sees Justin Hartley’s Superman punching a hole through the Clown Prince of Crime’s chest in retaliation for manipulating him into killing Lois Lane and his unborn child, as well as blowing up Metropolis. Following that, the Man of Steel recruits other superheroes to help him take control of Earth, forcing Anson Mount’s Batman and his own allies to attempt to stop them.

Injustice, which has a panel at DC FanDome this Saturday, will be released on Tuesday, October 19, and the next animated direct-to-video animated DC movie on the docket is Catwoman: Hunted. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more Injustice material and news concerning upcoming live-action DC Comics movies.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.