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Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Producer Shares Thoughts On Constantine Short Film Revisiting The DC Animated Movie Universe

John Constantine running from demons in The House of Mystery DC Showcase short
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

In 2020, the direct-to-video DC Animated Movie Universe (DCAMU) franchise that launched in 2013 with Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox wrapped up after 16 movies with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War… or at least, that’s how it looked at the time. Two years, this particularly continuity was recently revisited through Constantine: The House of Mystery, with Legends of Tomorrow’s Matt Ryan once again reprising the sorcerous antihero. The extended DC Showcase short served as an epilogue to the DCAMU, and supervising producer James Tucker shared his thoughts on House of Mystery returning to the world he oversaw for nearly a decade.

James Tucker oversaw all 15 movies set within the DC Animated Movie Universe, and the only tales set within this continuity was the web series Constantine: City of Demons and Constantine: The House of Mystery, which is included in a recently-released box set with fellow DC Showcase shorts Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!, Blue Beetle and The Losers. While speaking to Tucker about his work on the upcoming DC movie Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, I asked what he thought about House of Mystery serving as an epilogue to the DCAMU, and he answered:

Well, those ideas were discussed when I was doing the finale to Apokolips War. As far as I’m concerned, my continuity is closed off. That door is shut. So whatever they do, I don’t own the characters, so I’m like, ‘Ok, that’s cool.’ In fact, when I was doing Apokolips War, I was going to do an ending that would have been a more overt handoff. So you’d have known at the end of Apokolips War that there was going to be another continuity created. But there was back and forth, and it was decided that it was best just to leave the ending as it was, as you saw it, and let the next people decide to use it or not use it. So they used it, in a way. When I’m not involved with something, I’m kind of impassive to it, so I’m like, ‘Ok, that happened.’ Also, I love The Spectre, I wish I’d gotten to use The Spectre in my set of movies.

With Earth ravaged following the battle with Darkseid and his forces, and millions expected to die before the surviving superheroes could find a potential solution, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War ended with John Constantine persuading The Flash to run back in time to reset the timeline, i.e. create another Flashpoint, so that all the destruction would be erased. Constantine: The House of Mystery, which was inspired by Doctor Who, sees Constantine wake up in the DC Showcase short’s eponymous location after the temporal reset, with no memory of how he got there. Unfortunately, his time in the House becomes a living hell, with demons disguised as loved ones killing him over and over again in a time loop. As James Tucker mentioned, this short also featured the godlike entity known as The Spectre, who was voiced by Lou Diamond Phillips.

As far as James Tucker is concerned, he finished off the DC Animated Movie Universe the way he wanted to with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, but he did acknowledge that he’d originally intended for that final movie to be make it clearer that a new DC continuity had been created. Without going into too much detail about Constantine: The House of Mystery’s ending, the DC Showcase short does indicate that there’s another DC universe out there now. And while we don’t get a peek at this reality in House of Mystery, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that what’s unofficially referred to as the Tomorrowverse kicked off in August 2020 with Superman: Man of Tomorrow, and will continue later this year in Green Lantern: Beware My Power, which dropped its first trailer in early May.

Constantine: The House of Mystery also concludes in a way hinting that even though the DC Animated Movie Universe is gone, its mythology could be explored again at some point down the line. Now we’ll have to wait and see if this does indeed happen, but until then, you can purchase Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital starting May 24. The movie will also premiere on Cartoon Network on May 28, and then be available to stream with an HBO Max subscription on June 28.

Adam Holmes
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.