DC and Warner Bros. looks to be continuing their recent trend of churning out excellent direct-to-DVD animated fare by finally, after years of fan demand, adapting Frank Miller’s legendary The Dark Knight Returns in two parts — the first of which comes out at the end of this year, and part two will be available in 2013. With the exception of Batman, DC just hasn’t made very many good live-action movies of their universe and characters, and even he’s only batting around .500 if we’re keeping it real. But their animated features have been a different story, selling and reviewing well across the board. Just last year the company produced Miller’s Batman: Year One, which tells the character’s first adventure as a crime fighting vigilante, and prior to that they delved into one of Batman’s most tramautic tales in Under the Red Hood.
Now they’re digging into what is, ostensibly, the last time Bruce Wayne dons the cape and cowl. Both stories are brutal and violent depictions of what being a real life superhero might entail and are considered by many to be the ultimate statement on Batman in comicdom. This time Peter “Robocop” Weller will be portraying the elderly, retired caped crusader and Ariel “the middle Dunphy child on ‘Modern Family’” Winter will play the Carrie Kelly Robin, with Michael “David St. Hubbins” McKean as Harvey Dent. No word on who might voice the Joker, but McKean would have been an inspired choice there. Considering his track record as DC’s animation guru, Bruce Timm, who is also executive producing this Dark Knight Returns, will certainly ensure that this material receives the treatment it deserves. That said, two relative unknowns, Jay Oliva (storyboards for the upcoming Man of Steel) and Bob Goodman (“Warehouse 13”) are directing and writing the adaptation, respectively, but based on the below images from THR, I think we’re in good hands.
Though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m most excited about TK’s inevitable review(s)…
And with The Dark Knight Returns being adapted we can all finally move on from our overlong Frank Miller obsession. He may be an iconic comics writer, but he no longer has any great works that need adapting in any medium. (Somebody might want to let Robert Rodriguez know before he starts principal photography on Sin City 2.) If you’re going to keep doing Batman, let’s see an animated The Long Halloween, DC. And then we can all promptly ignore the remainder of Jeph Loeb’s career.
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his wares can be purchased here and here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He’ll admit that maybe a good Daredevil movie could still happen, but he refuses to acknowledge the existence of The Dark Knight Strikes Again.