‘Batman: Year One’ Trailer Preserves The Comic’s Gritty Tone

Published 4 years ago by , Updated July 7th, 2011 at 1:29 pm,

Batman Year One voice cast Batman: Year One Trailer Preserves The Comics Gritty Tone

Warner Bros. and DC Comics have typically produced better-than-average animated series based on some of their most iconic characters – but for older fans,  the cumbersome restrictions of network television were often all too apparent. With the release of Superman: Doomsday in 2007, it was exciting to realize that the burgeoning line of DC Universe Animated Original Movies could use the direct-to-video format to tell more adult-oriented stories.

From the onset of these films, a large number of Batman fans were clamoring for an animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal origin story Batman: Year One. The original four-issue comic book series details Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham, the beginnings of his war on crime, and his initial encounters with a noble police lieutenant named James Gordon. This arc was clearly a major influence on Batman Begins, but the desire to see a more straightforward interpretation has not dissipated – and now we’re finally getting our chance.

Batman: Year One is the latest addition to the growing library of DCU animated films and directors Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) have promised that the film will be incredibly faithful to the source material. It features the voices of Ben McKenzie (Southland) as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as James Gordon, Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Detective Sarah Essen, and Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) as Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

The first trailer for the film just popped up on MTV and if this brief glimpse is any indication, the directors weren’t simply giving fans lip service. There might not be a whole lot to go one here, but at the very least it seems like the atmosphere of the comic has been preserved. Check it out:

Just as the early images we caught a glimpse of back in April indicated, the animators have accurately duplicated David Mazzucchelli’s artwork and Richmond Lewis’ muted color palette. It’s also encouraging to see that they seem to be trying to retain Year One‘s aggressive nature as well. It always takes some time to get used to hearing a new actor voicing the Caped Crusader, and even if McKenzie’s delivery seems a bit soft for Miller’s decidedly militant take on the character, the film itself doesn’t look like it will be pulling any punches.

As the trailer advertises, a 15-minute short film focusing on Catwoman will also be included with Batman: Year One. Dushku reprises the title role for a story that pits Selina against Rough Cut – a new villain  voiced by John DiMaggio (Futurama).

The DC animated movies have been admittedly hit-or-miss, so hopefully Batman: Year One won’t succumb to the same fate as something like All-Star Superman – another otherwise faithful adaptation that suffered from an abbreviated running time. At the very least, the film should help hold over Batman fans anxiously awaiting the release of The Dark Knight Rises.

Batman: Year One will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Video OnDemand on October 18, 2011. Comic-Con attendees can catch the world premiere of the film on July 22 in Ballroom 20 at 8:00 pm. Boomkark our Comic-Con 2011 Official Coverage page now and be on the lookout for our early review of the film during the convention’s run.

Source: MTV.

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  1. Oh god. So excited.

  2. Trailer not showing.

  3. looks great. last batman flick i caught was the red hood, enjoyed it quite a bit. looks like this one is going to live up to my hopes as well.

  4. legen….wait for it….dary

  5. October 18??? GENIUS! That’s when Batman: Arkham City comes out! lol can’t wait

  6. Nice, I wasn’t expecting them to duplicate Mazzucchelli’s artwork from the comic. Now looking forward to this more than I originally thought I would.

  7. This looks very very promising. The good thing about adapting Batman: Year One as opposed to something as expansive as All Star Superman is that the story itself is quite concise. Whereas other DCU movies do seem to squeeze a lot of material into the allotted 75 minutes, B:YO is a slower moving story which will allow for better pacing, while still allowing for an adequate amount of action.

    • Totally agree. Fingers crossed, eh? Year One is one of my favorite Batman comics (In terms of Miller’s work, I actually prefer it to The Dark Knight Returns) so I’m really hoping they nail this one.

      • I also prefer it to Dark Knight Returns, too.

  8. “and even if McKenzie’s delivery seems a bit soft for Miller’s decidedly militant take on the character,..” I was thinking the same thing. Still high hopes though!

  9. Looking forward to this alot, watched every dc animated film and they keep getting better and better each one, i loved the red hood batman one and this one looks even better can’t wait.

  10. I love DiMaggio as Bender, but I was REALLY disappointed with his Joker voice in The Red Hood flick. Cannot hold a candle to Mark Hamill. Also, why is Conroy not being used to voice Bruce/Batman? We all know he’s the man!

    • Idk. I liked both DiMaggio and Greenwood as Joker and Batman respectively. I mean yeah, nobody will ever top Hamill and Conroy but I think they are worthy successors.

  11. To be honest it doesn’t look that close to the artwork or colouring of the original at all to me – the human figures and block shading owe a lot more to anime than they do to Mazzucchelli and Lewis. Not complaining, mind, it certainly seems like a decent enough treatment, and Katee Sackoff’s a bonus as well.

  12. If Gary Oldman ever decides to stop playing Jim Gordon, Bryan Cranston is a more than worthy successor!

  13. batman’s voice seems to soft, and gentle as opposed to the bold alluring one from previous animated movies (mainly the ones from the 90′s). i’ve started loosing interest in animated movies but i might give this a peak if i have the time.

  14. Hope it has the scene where he has a bladder malfunction

  15. I hate to ask this cause I know I am going to get bashed over the head…

    But how many origin stories of Batman are we up to now?

    Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Batman stories, games, movies, etc…

  16. Horrible voice cast.

  17. Looks great… but, why haven’t they done a Killing joke movie yet?

  18. Damn it! Another Conroy-less DCA feature :(

  19. Looks pretty good. I think year one stands out as my favorite Batman story period.

  20. Awesome, so looking forward to this. Year One has always been a favourite

  21. I’d still rather have Kevin Conroy as Bruce/Batman’s voice. It’s beyond classic. He makes the Bat live for me. Best Bat-voice EVER. Long live CONROY! ‘NUFF SAID?

    • I agree, I’m willing to give McKenzie a chance but Kevin Conroy is by far the best voice actor to ever portray Batman.

  22. Why doesn’t the girl in transformers 3 ever get her white coat dirty with all that debris flying around.