Voice Cast Announced for Two-Part Animated Adaptation of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

     May 23, 2012


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.

dark-knight-returns-batman-voice-peter-wellerAccording 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.

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  • Blue Leader

    Would rather see Miller’s work wither away. More original Batman stuff please. Stop reliving the 90s.

    • JimVincent

      Miller’s Batman was 80s, not 90s.

    • Jerry

      Really? Considering alot of Batman fans love ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ It was really the first ‘Elseworlds’ tale, and redefined the Dark Knight by bringing him back to his roots.

  • GP

    Michael McKean was hit by a car this morning and was in critical condition. I’m thinking that they may need to re-cast the role of Dr. Wolper. I wish him well.

    • M H

      I think the voice work has already been recorded, as I saw Part 1 announced in last week’s MPAA ratings. It was given a PG-13. So I would assume it’s already completed as the MPAA doesn’t give ratings to incomplete movies. I would also guess that the voice work for part 2 is already completed as well, as the article stated that part 2 is being prepped for an early 2013 release.

    • IB

      I don’t know where you got “critical condition”.
      McKean has suffered a broken leg. His condition has been reported to be “fine”.
      Sensationalize much?

  • Singularity

    I have tried to like TDK Returns, but the artwork is not my thing. The premise is great, the story is compelling, but Batman as polygons is weak.

  • Kyle

    I realize David Selby was on Falcon Crest, but come on…everyone knows him from Dark Shadows as werewolf Quentin Collins.

  • ken

    @GP: Get your facts straight!! he was hit by a car and in STABLE condition with a broken leg he’s not in critical condition!!

  • yeti murphy

    i didnt think the dark knight strikes was atrocious, far from it actually. my only complaint was that it didn’t focus enough on Batman himself, but it was still a cool story with great artwork. peter weller as old bruce wayne sounds awesome though

  • AlexHeyNa

    Wade Williams is making his mark in the Batman universe. He’s also in The Dark Knight Rises.

  • MEMcfadden

    Loved David Selby as Quentin Collins and Richard Channing on Falcon Crest. Wonderful voice. Doing Police Chief Gordon, I believe…

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  • Dennis25

    With all do respect, it is in my opinion that Petter Weller is good for robot and digital related dialog voice over work , He’s a bad idea for bruce Wayne/Batman and the only true voice there is for a character as complex as Batman is Dirty Harry himself, Cint Eastwood

  • Dennis25

    A GrandToreno style no tolerance for crime Clint Eastwood is the perfect voice cast for Bruce Wayne/Batman

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  • Jerry

    Really? Considering alot of Batman fans love \’The Dark Knight Returns\’ It was really the first \’Elseworlds\’ tale, and redefined the Dark Knight by bringing him back to his roots.