First Clip from ‘The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1′ Animated Movie

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 6th, 2012 at 12:43 pm,

Among hardcore comic book fans, there are few tales as memorable and iconic as The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller’s 1986 contribution to the Batman mythos (even Christopher Nolan’s epic trilogy capper The Dark Knight Rises borrowed several plot points and themes from Miller’s work). Which is why it’s no surprise that the story is in the process of being adapted as a two-part animated film.

Although we’ve already seen the film’s trailer, Warner Bros.’ first clip from  Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 offers a glimpse into the aesthetic and tone of the project. The animation looks like a more modern incarnation of the classic 1990s Batman: The Animated Series.

Bruce Timm – who served as a writer on B:TAS and has remained involved with Batman’s animated adventures – is executive producing the film with original RoboCop Peter Weller as the aged Caped Crusader himself.

 First Clip from The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 Animated Movie

For those Bat-fans who haven’t read the graphic novel on which this film is based, here’s the official synopsis:

It’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new…and old.

Longtime fans and comic book aficionados will likely rejoice that this story is being adapted, but newbies to this particular Batman story may feel a sense of déjà vu, given the noticeable parallels between this film and The Dark Knight Rises. Even the Gotham police officers’ reaction to Batman’s sudden reappearance is almost identical to the one in Rises.

Whether or not this animated incarnation lives up to the hype, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is likely to be as divisive a film for the geek community as Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, with some praising the loyalty to the source material (the lack of a squid notwithstanding) and others criticizing its comparative shallowness.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Judging by this clip, is The Dark Knight Returns getting the treatment it deserves?

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 25th. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 will follow in early 2013.

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  1. Why does the dark knight keep returning , i mean can he just stay , cause am tired of how he keeps returning , WHERE THE HELL DOES HE KEEP GOING !?!

    • Where’s Waldo?: The Batman Edition

  2. I’ve read the graphic novel, can’t wait til the 25th.

  3. rises and returns… same difference

  4. Batman makes more comebacks than The Who.

    But I ain’t going to lie, I am very excited about this.

  5. Is there going to be only two parts? When is part two being released?

    Not buying this until I hear part 2 is coming out lol.

    • Part 2 comes out in January

      • Are there only two parts?

        Thanks for the quick reply

    • Wait till part 2 Superman is the federal goverment poster boy.

  6. Looking forward to seeing this. I’m digging what I’m seeing so far.

  7. If it wasnt for that iconic “batman on a lighting lit background” pose i would have NO idea that this had anything to do with the dark knight Returns. Not that the art isnt pretty, it is. I just think it’s a bit odd that they’ve taken away one of the things that was so strikeing about the book, the whole look of it. Still, i’m really excited to see how well this is going to translate.

  8. After hearing Weller’s voice, I still think Michael Ironside should have been chosen for the voice of Batman.

  9. Amazing story. Bought my 1st edition printing from Forbidden Planet in London when I was 16; it’s still in it’s original plastic sleeve (not that it hasn’t been read from cover to cover a thousand times since then…)! However I am not a huge fan of the animation here- it’s no real secret that this particular style, while popular, stems from a particularly low-budget approach to churning out kid’s tv cartoons and the source material deserved better….

  10. One thing they didn’t mention was the role Superman played in Miller’s original work. IF they cut that out the movie is going to suffer for it as it was one of The Best endings I’ve ever read in comics.

  11. I read the book in 86 and watched a few clips of this. While its not perfect, it gets what made the book amazing. This is what Rises should have been. I have been a true fan since I was a kid in the 70′s and this is perfect. Peter Weller is spot on as an aged Bruce Wayne. This is THE Batman story that changed everything. Anyone hating is just nitpicking.