Warner Bros is building a virtual reality Batcave

8 Oct 2014

Image via render.otoy.com/newsblog/

Remember Batman: The Animated Series? The Nineties Saturday morning cartoon that offered the first truly on-point screen depiction of the Dark Knight and the villains of Gotham City?

If so then, like me, you probably hear actor Kevin Conroy’s voice in your head when reading a Batman comic book, and curse every big-budget movie that’s released for failing to feature The Joker’s psychiatrist-turned-accomplice Harley Quinn.

Well, fans of the series can prepare to seriously geek out as Warner Bros, DC Entertainment and 3D graphics designers OTOY have announced they are bringing the series’ Batcave to life via interactive holographic video for glasses-free technology, including light field displays that will power future televisions and mobile devices.

As revealed in a statement, the “interactive narrative experience” will give fans the opportunity to explore the Batcave on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR and the Oculus Rift. Samsung unveiled its Gear VR Innovator Edition at consumer tech show IFA 2014 in Berlin last month, revealing that the virtual reality (VR) headset will be powered by technology from Oculus VR. Equipped with a 5.7-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display, the Gear VR embeds users in 360-degree 3D visuals.

Batman: The Animated Series producer Bruce Timm is overseeing the project to ensure the adaptation is accurate. OTOY is also developing tools that will ensure the show’s film noir stylings will crossover to 3D.

“We are continuously exploring new and exciting ways to tell stories and share experiences with audiences around the globe, and we’re excited to be working with OTOY on this cutting-edge adaptation from Batman: The Animated Series,” said Sam Register, president, Warner Bros Animation and Warner Digital Series.

“More to the point: It’s super-cool, eye-popping stuff, and fans are going to love it. We can’t wait for them to have the chance to see the Batcave from the show again – for the very first time.”

Jules Urbach, founder and CEO of OTOY added, “Warner Bros has always been at the forefront of technology and entertainment, exemplified again today in its partnership with OTOY in bringing this Batman: The Animated Series experience to new audiences through holographic video. We’re thrilled to be part of this project. Our work with Warner Bros validates the tremendous potential of VR as a new cinematic medium.”

Work on the virtual-reality Batcave has already begun and a release date has been tentatively set for winter. In the meantime, here’s a classic scene to reacquaint yourself with the show’s gothic tones.

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic