Rumor: Dark Knight Returns Slated for Animated Feature

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Rumor: Dark Knight Returns Slated for Animated Feature

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An animated version of the dystopian Dark Knight Returns is rumored to be in the works at Warner Bros.

Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns is one of the most intriguing and beloved Batman stories of all time. The four-issue comic book series first released in 1986 goes into the dark future of Gotham City, where nearly every superhero has given up the ghost (other than Superman), and Batman is forced out of retirement in his mid-50's. The tale may soon become more than a graphic novel, with rumors hinting that it could go animated.

Bleeding Cool reports that multiple sources are saying Warner Bros. is working on a movie adaptation of Dark Knight Returns. As Christopher Nolan has pretty much taken over when it comes to the Dark Knight on the big screen, this adaptation will be animated in the same vein as All-Star Superman.

However, before Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. will release an animated version of Miller's Batman: Year One, the author's take on how Bruce Wayne came to be Batman. Dark Knight Returns is still in early development.

Veterans of previous animated Batman projects are said to be involved with Dark Knight Returns, though nobody specific has been confirmed yet. If the feature is eventually made, it'll be one of the grittier and darker tales to be animated from the Batman franchise.

Source: Bleeding Cool

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They actually did a bit of this with the New Batman Adventures with Micheal Ironside voicing the older Batman. I'm sure if the rumors are true it'll be good as most of the animated DC features are pretty solid quality.

I can see it now...

Every five minutes it cuts to a random newscast.
Every three words will be emphasized, no matter who's speaking or why.
Every female character will be a stripper or a hooker.
Batman will be put in a pedestal miles higher than any other DC hero (because HE doesn't have POWERS).

But hey, the story will be pretty cool, right?

*Phew* When I first glanced at this article I thought it said The Dark Knight Rises and I was ready to panic. Glad I read it wrong. I would be okay with an animated Dark Knight Returns. Lately, I've been quite impressed with the Batman animations.

Hoping for Michael Ironside to do the voice. Even if he doesn't, still awesome.

Imagine the meeting at WB HQ

"Hey, people still seem to be buying this Batman stuff up, how can we exploit it more?"

"Well, people seem to like that Frank Miller guy for some reason..."

"Yeah, he did that book that has a title similar to the film we did, that was painfully popular!"

"Right! And people say this is dark too, and people love edgy shit!"

"Indeed, now let's flog this horse until sandwich shaped slices of flesh come off it, so we can have lunch".

Come on people, Batman is dull. Sure this is an opinion, but a character can be interpreted differently, depending on the writer. The most successful Batman non-comic production was "The Dark Knight", which succeeded most probably because he wasn't in it for most of the film. Well, that and most people's macabre fascination with death. He worked well in a computer game because he has the most two dimensional, boring personality in the history of fantasy, and so you can easily project yourself into his shoes.

The only even slightly interesting animated Batman, was the future Batman as seen in Batman of the Future (or Batman Beyond, depending on where you're from), which wasn't Bruce Wayne, it was some kid, who actually had a personality. Other than that, Batman's track record in the DC Animated Universe was a perfectly honest representation of how he was in the comic books: boring.

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull.

The single most ridiculous thing I have heard all month.

Jingermanoo:

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull.

The single most ridiculous thing I have heard all month.

You don't have to agree with me, but to me, he really is. With the rich collection of characters that DC have (ignoring other companies), Batman is always exploited, and pushed in our faces as the broody emo one, who is somehow non powered, yet strangely more powerful than anyone else.

A rich genius, who decides to dress in latex in the rain, picking on gangsters, and having the emotional depth of a teaspoon. Pathetic. He could have at least built an awesome robot suit.

Verlander:

Jingermanoo:

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull.

The single most ridiculous thing I have heard all month.

You don't have to agree with me, but to me, he really is. With the rich collection of characters that DC have (ignoring other companies), Batman is always exploited, and pushed in our faces as the broody emo one, who is somehow non powered, yet strangely more powerful than anyone else.

A rich genius, who decides to dress in latex in the rain, picking on gangsters, and having the emotional depth of a teaspoon. Pathetic. He could have at least built an awesome robot suit.

but........but but, BATMAN CAN BREATHE IN SPACE!

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OT: is....is this the same series that has Crazy Steve stealing the batman costume and kidnapping Dick Grayson?

The same series that coined "What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the Goddamn Batman."

No, NOT ACCEPTABLE DC!

Verlander:
Come on people, Batman is dull.

Actually, he's rather sharp. (Granted, that varies by writer and illustrator, but in the main he's intelligent and stylish.)

The only even slightly interesting animated Batman, was the future Batman as seen in Batman of the Future (or Batman Beyond, depending on where you're from), which wasn't Bruce Wayne, it was some kid, who actually had a personality.

Your opinion is demonstratably invalid. The '90s Batman: The Animated Series had moments of brilliant vividness... Kevin Conroy made a great Batman/Bruce Wayne, and of course Mark Hamill was brilliant as the Joker. (And the series also led to the creation of Harley Quinn... far, far away from dull, puddin'.)

Don't like Batsy? Don't watch. It's as simple as that.

-- Steve

PS: for those going on about the Miller influence, check the date of "Returns". It was released in '86, before Miller's kinks became quite so pronounced. I'm cautiously optimistic that it'd make for a good animated feature.

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull. Sure this is an opinion, but a character can be interpreted differently, depending on the writer. The most successful Batman non-comic production was "The Dark Knight", which succeeded most probably because he wasn't in it for most of the film. Well, that and most people's macabre fascination with death. He worked well in a computer game because he has the most two dimensional, boring personality in the history of fantasy, and so you can easily project yourself into his shoes.

The only even slightly interesting animated Batman, was the future Batman as seen in Batman of the Future (or Batman Beyond, depending on where you're from), which wasn't Bruce Wayne, it was some kid, who actually had a personality. Other than that, Batman's track record in the DC Animated Universe was a perfectly honest representation of how he was in the comic books: boring.

Did you READ the Dark Knight Returns? If you did, maybe you'd understand an inkling of what it did for the industry as a whole, rather than the character. Oh, and then it did stuff for the character, which will then pretty much negate your entire argument here. I seriously doubt you read it.

Also inb4 'I totally read it and i'm staying with my argument': Don't read it JUST because I called you out it. Sit down, take it seriously, read up on wikipedia on what it did for the comics industry. I assure you, before it came out there was nothing like it. Its been emulated but never to the capacity the original had. It was the spark that started elevating comic books to a higher 'more mature' (not necessarily 'adult') medium.

The reason this may be being made into a animated feature is because of its critical acclaim and nothing more. Its being made because it WAS GOOD. Not simply because they are trying to cash in, though admittedly they are trying to make money with it.

Kalezian:
[quote="Verlander" post="7.277841.10818497"]
OT: is....is this the same series that has Crazy Steve stealing the batman costume and kidnapping Dick Grayson?

The same series that coined "What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I'm the Goddamn Batman."

No, NOT ACCEPTABLE DC!

No, You're thinking of All-Star Batman and Robin. While they ARE both written by Frank Miller they are not the same series. ASBR is pretty much a total clusterf!ck, Miller at his worst.
The Dark Knight Returns is Miller at his best.

I strongly suggest reading this, even if you have to go to your local Barnes and Noble and read it in the aisle.

This could work, it is just before Miller went completly insane, and DC Animated team does have a tendancy to make lots of changes to the work for the better so that should iron out the kinks Miller has.

OT: As for over-doing Batman. Of course they have to over-explot Batman, the people making the original movies have to make money to be able to make more movies, and Batman makes money.

On the other hand they make about 3 a year which allows them to explore other characters, and heck, sometimes they'll just lie about how involved Batman is to the plot to make you buy it, when really they want to do a story about Super Girl and the New Gods *cough* Superman/ Batman: Apocolypse *cough*

Year One and DKR are good graphic novels. I am intrigued.

Verlander:
The most successful Batman non-comic production was "The Dark Knight", which succeeded most probably because he wasn't in it for most of the film.

Uh??? He was actually in most of the movie. You should watch it.

Scrythe:
I can see it now...

Every five minutes it cuts to a random newscast.
Every three words will be emphasized, no matter who's speaking or why.
Every female character will be a stripper or a hooker.
Batman will be put in a pedestal miles higher than any other DC hero (because HE doesn't have POWERS).

But hey, the story will be pretty cool, right?

This is Dark Knight Returns, not Dark Knight Strikes Again.

Jetsetneo:

Well, I don't make comments like that one based on nothing. I have read it. Many years ago, and since.

The thing is, it doesn't matter what it did for comics (arguably, all it did was prove that they could be "adult" themed while retaining popularity, which this animation is unlikely to be). I think that Watchmen is very good, but I also feel that V for Vendetta was stronger than Watchmen. To the rabid fanboy of internet informed opinions, that is blasphemy. It doesn't change my opinion, and nor do the successes, or critical acclaims.

My actual opinion however, was of the character, and not so much the book. The good is good (not great IMO), but the character always has, and always will be fairly bland. It's the same with Superman for me. They are bland. When you have some great characters in the DC roster, including Wonder Woman, Aquaman post 90's, Green Arrow etc, Batman is rather, well, dull.

Batman, like Spiderman (although I'd argue that Spiderman is a slightly better character, if not slightly annoying), got by more because of excellent villain design, than because of the heroes themselves. I think both characters are undisputed kings of top notch villains, but I'm sorry, for me that doesn't sell a character.

pandasaw:

Verlander:
The most successful Batman non-comic production was "The Dark Knight", which succeeded most probably because he wasn't in it for most of the film.

Uh??? He was actually in most of the movie. You should watch it.

I did, on opening night. I remember wondering where he was through a lot of the film. It was re-edited post Heath Ledgers death to include more scenes with Ledger in a prominent role, and that combined with the Harvey Dent arc pushed out Batman scenes.

Don't get me wrong though, it wasn't Batman as a character that made The Dark Knight bland, it was the fact that they removed all of the atmosphere from Batman begins, and re-set the story in Chicago which annoyed me.

I don't think that's demonstrably invalid, I think that's a difference of opinion. I watched Batman: The Animated series as a kid, and I enjoyed it, mostly due to my laughably poor taste at the time (I was a child after all). Rewatchings since have been a bit of a sad eye opener, now that I can see how poor they were. It's not terrible, just kinda dull. Batman Begins, however, wasn't dull, it was actually pretty nifty. Some great design and character development. And the Bruce Wayne in it... is still really fucking dull. He's the guy that you avoid at parties, probably why he's all broody and depressed and shit.

As for Harley Quinn... she's like a female Deadpool. Too much fanboy love for nostalgic and simple reasons, and not enough actual merits of her own. Don't get me wrong she (and Deadpool) aren't bad characters as such, just not a brilliant example to use. Mark Hamil's joker is definitely a point in it's favour though.

NeutralDrow:

Scrythe:
I can see it now...

Every five minutes it cuts to a random newscast.
Every three words will be emphasized, no matter who's speaking or why.
Every female character will be a stripper or a hooker.
Batman will be put in a pedestal miles higher than any other DC hero (because HE doesn't have POWERS).

But hey, the story will be pretty cool, right?

This is Dark Knight Returns, not Dark Knight Strikes Again.

Dark Knight Returns still has the newscasts.
Selina Kyle was a hooker in that one.
According to my trade copy, it still has the random word emphasis.
Batman goes toe-to-toe with Superman. The come even (briefly) points out that Batman's better due to lack of powers.

But let's ignore all this for a moment. We'll put all that in that back burner for now, while we chew in this food for thought:

If this rumor is true, then we're still talking about Frank Miller now, not Frank Miller in 1986.

He's a goddamned hack now.

Having never read The Dark Knight Returns, I'd like to see an animated Batman again. The 90's Batman cartoons and the Batman Beyond series were both great, and I like to have more of that rather than that slop being passed off as Batman Cartoon Network is playing now.

Jetsetneo:

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull. Sure this is an opinion, but a character can be interpreted differently, depending on the writer. The most successful Batman non-comic production was "The Dark Knight", which succeeded most probably because he wasn't in it for most of the film. Well, that and most people's macabre fascination with death. He worked well in a computer game because he has the most two dimensional, boring personality in the history of fantasy, and so you can easily project yourself into his shoes.

The only even slightly interesting animated Batman, was the future Batman as seen in Batman of the Future (or Batman Beyond, depending on where you're from), which wasn't Bruce Wayne, it was some kid, who actually had a personality. Other than that, Batman's track record in the DC Animated Universe was a perfectly honest representation of how he was in the comic books: boring.

Did you READ the Dark Knight Returns? If you did, maybe you'd understand an inkling of what it did for the industry as a whole, rather than the character. Oh, and then it did stuff for the character, which will then pretty much negate your entire argument here. I seriously doubt you read it.

Also inb4 'I totally read it and i'm staying with my argument': Don't read it JUST because I called you out it. Sit down, take it seriously, read up on wikipedia on what it did for the comics industry. I assure you, before it came out there was nothing like it. Its been emulated but never to the capacity the original had. It was the spark that started elevating comic books to a higher 'more mature' (not necessarily 'adult') medium.

The reason this may be being made into a animated feature is because of its critical acclaim and nothing more. Its being made because it WAS GOOD. Not simply because they are trying to cash in, though admittedly they are trying to make money with it.

This a million fucking times. Obviously the first poster is an "It's popular so it sucks" type who hates anything that can be called mainstream. Later he mentions Wonder Woman (Feminism at it's best) and Aquaman (Just fucking Aquaman) as better characters. DC would be better if they made an Adam Strange or Doom Patrol feature instead, right? I mean they aren't as mainstream and overhyped as Batman so they are better, right?

God the fucking hipsters on this site are fucking ridiculous. The Dark Knight Returns is what you can thank for your beloved "Gangster Noir FIlms with added appearances of Batman" movies that Nolan keeps dishing out. If it wasn't for the success of TDKR they wouldn't have made the 89 Batman movie that got the ball rolling.

As for Batman being better than the other DC characters because he doesn't have powers, well it's fucking true you ignorant twats. The whole point is that he has to be crazy prepared to do what Superman or Wonder Woman does because he doesn't have their invulnerability to fall back on. He's a normal person, training himself, dedicating his life to fighting crime. In fact, if you think about it, Superman would be the biggest villain of all since he has every power (and only one maguffin of a weakness in Kryptonite) but there are still crimes being committed that he could stop before they even started out the door.

Whatever though. It's this kind of thing that is making me leave this site, I get too worked up from the stupidity of people here.

There will be a short subject shown before the main feature and it will have Heath Ledger dancing with a vaccuum cleaner.

Well, this will be awesome. The last Batman animated film was bloody brilliant. I actually enjoyed Bender's take on The Joker.

The DC Animated films have always been pretty damn good.

"This isn't a junk heap. It's an operating table. And I'm the surgeon."

OT: No. I will not be watching this if it comes out. I personally blame this and Watchmen for every "edgy" character that came out in the 90's except Cable and Deadpool. And Shatterstar.

Scrythe:

He's a goddamned hack now.

Now?

Cool hope the rumors are true.
But if so I hope they change some of the more dated aspects of DKR's story and re-work so of the parts that wouldn't quite work (like the news commentary and Frank Miller's dialog and treatment of women)

I've been hoping for a DKR remake for awhile now.

Jingermanoo:

Verlander:

Come on people, Batman is dull.

The single most ridiculous thing I have heard all month.

Actually I've found Batman has always been the least interesting character in any given comic/series/movie. He never changes and never grows because he's too popular to ever be tampered with while at the same time he's surrounded by far more colorful and versatile characters. His rouge gallery is full of characters much more interesting than he is.

Sin City was good. 300 had its pleasures. But I'm really kind of beginning to wish they'd find another writer to mine. The comics owe Miller a genuine debt for bringing some things to the table that were absent in the medium in the 90s, but those contributions aren't so deep and wonderous, especially in the 201x-es, that we need to revisit them in other media with such frequency.

Best news I've heard in a while.

If we're talking consistency, almost all the animated Batman features are frackin' awesome.

I doubt this will be any different.

Just don't do All-Star Batman and Robin and we're good.

This should be an amazing project, the DC Animated movies are fantastic. I was amazed with Red Hood (could be better than Mask of the Phantasm even) so this should be even better.

I need to re-read DKR sometime.

This will either be awesome, or horrible.

I'm not sure which, but crossing fingers that Frank Miller has major involvement in this.

well, as long as they don't do the sequel or "All Star Batman and Robin," I'll be happy

Animated.... without Conroy or Hamil? Just cant get as excited about it.
(Conroy might still be up for it, but Hamil claims he is done with the Joker /cry)

As for the whole Batman is Emo... I think you have Emo and Goth mixed up. If batman was emo, he would just remain Bruce wayne, burn Wayne enterprises to the ground, and cry about how its not fair how his mommy and daddy were taken away.

Granted he dwells a bit on that latter fact, but instead of wallowing in his misery, he uses that anger and sadness to do something about the problem that caused it.

Johnnyallstar:

but crossing fingers that Frank Miller has major involvement in this.

Gods i hope not. He used to be great but has apparently become insane with age. "All Star Batman and Robin" has to be the worst piece of crap to ever carry the batman title

Heh, when I first saw this I was thinking of Dark Knight Rises. There would have been blood if that was the case.
But I like the idea of putting Frank Miller's stuff to animation. DC's been pretty dang good with what they put out, and it is about time to raise the bar.
I'm trying to think of those who would be great to match Michael Ironside if he can't do it, but Clancy Brown and Richard Moll are already pretty set in damn good DC roles.
Oh well, fingers crossed!

viranimus:
Animated.... without Conroy or Hamil? Just cant get as excited about it.
(Conroy might still be up for it, but Hamill claims he is done with the Joker /cry)

I can understand your hesitation, I wasn't too sure how good Adam Baldwin would be for Superman(Superman/Doomsday) when I am already trained on Tim Daly providing the man of steel's voice. It was spot-on.
I am about willing to bet, though, that if DC throws enough money at Mark, he will make an encore performance. His first statement of not returning to be the Joker was during Arkham Asylum being produced, and yet he has returned for Arkham City.
Seriously, how many celebrities actually commit to retirement?

Well, just as long as they don't do The Dark Knight Strikes Again as well.

I swear, that one made no sense at all.

The Dark Knight Returns is arguably the best Batman story ever written, but I don't think it would translate well into an animated series that well. I don't know how apropriately the grimdark tone would be conveyed. I think The Long Halloween (arguably the second best Batman story) would actually make a better animated movie. It actually interesting that those two stories are written by people who are considered to have (to phrase politely) fallen quite low in quality in recent years.

On the topic of ASBAR, I actually found the comic pretty hillarious "goddamn you and your lemonade!", but it is pretty much trash.

And on the general for or against batman arguement that's happening here, I will say despite how much I like Batman, a GOOD Superman is nearly always better than a GOOD Batman story.

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