First look: Peter Weller as Batman in the The Dark Knight Returns

This next animated Warner Brothers/DC Comics movie will be pretty hard to pass up and prompted me to check out Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One animated movie, which I plan to review here soon.  But what’s coming this month is the most talked about graphic novel of all time, Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 in its first adaptation, coming direct to video.  DC Comics must have done some research to indicate it wouldn’t make enough money for this movie to hit the theaters, which is unfortunate, because I think even the simple animation style used wouldn’t matter–DKR fans would go to the theater to see this.  The negative is that, like so many other movies these days, it is being broken into two parts, so maybe the length was the problem.

That said, it looks a lot better than I thought it would just based on my viewing of the initial preview stills.  I’m still not a fan of this Robin.  That said, I understand her significance in this story.  And that character is a very Frank Miller-defining element, for better or worse.

So here is the long version of the trailer:

A great selling point is Peter Weller (Robocop, Star Trek Enterprise) as Batman.  Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap, Star Trek Voyager, Mighty Wind, Clue, Laverne and Shirley) will provide the voice for Dr. Wolper.  Popular child actress Ariel Winter is Robin.  Mega-genre supporting baddie actor Wade Williams (Tru Calling, X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Enterprise, Monk, Burn Notice, Leverage, Star Trek Voyager) provides the voice of Two-Face/Harvey Dent.  Original Dark Shadows actor David Selby provides the voice of Commissioner Gordon.

The other thing is the imagery and Frank Miller’s blocky style for Batman.  It’s the image of Batman in the graphic novel, apparent in this trailer, that has been built upon by so many other artists, including Jim Lee.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will be released September 25, 2012, direct to Blu-Ray and DVD, and available for discount pre-order hereBatman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 will be released in 2013, and you can expect some good surprises with that part of the adaptation, too, including Lost’s Michael Emerson as the voice of the Joker.

C.J. Bunce


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