Last year, Warner Premiere released an animated adaptation of Frank Miller‘s popular graphic novel, Batman: Year One. However, the popularity of that book pales in comparison to one of the most influential comics of all-time, The Dark Knight Returns. Along with Watchmen, Returns was a major deconstruction of the superhero genre, and pushed it into a more violent and gritty direction. Miller’s take on the Batman universe showed Dark Knight as more of a fascist than a hero (you can skip Miller’s atrocious sequel series, The Dark Knight Strikes Again). Although Christopher Nolan has eschewed a comic-book tone with his Batman movies, he has retained the themes of Miller’s 1986 comic.
Today, THR reports that WP is moving forward with an animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, and that they will split the feature into two-parts. Hit the jump for more including the film’s voice cast.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Peter Weller (Robocop) will voice the grim, gritty, and tired Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Ariel Winter, who plays Alex on Modern Family, will voice the Carrie Kelly/Robin. The cast also features David Selby (Falcon Crest), Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap) as Dr. Wolper, the psychiatrist who releases Joker from Arkham Asylum*. Storyboard artist Jay Oliva (Man of Steel) will direct from a script by Bob Goodman (Warehouse 13).
Our own Scott Wampler was disappointed with Batman: Year One, but I like the voice casting for Dark Knight Returns, especially Weller and Winter, so hopefully this film will be an improvement. Part 1 is due to hit stores this fall and Part 2 be released in early 2013. I assume we’ll be seeing some clips from the films at Comic-Con, and possibly even the entirety of Part 1, since that’s how Warner Premiere handled Year One at last year’s Con.
For those who haven’t read The Dark Knight Returns, here’s the synopsis:
It is ten years after an aging Batman has retired, and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, when his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenage female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time, Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive. [Amazon]
*Arkham Asylum: Hiring Shitty Doctors Since Forever.