DC has released a new trailer for their animated movie that will adapt the famous graphic novel, Gotham by Gaslight. As the title suggests, the movie (and graphic novel) will transport the mythology of Batman to the Victorian era. Gotham by Gaslight sees Bruce Wayne in an almost steampunk setting as Gotham is given a complete makeover but still manages to feel vaguely familiar.
Rather than having Batman hunt down any Victorian-esque takes on The Joker or Two-Face, Bruce Wayne will be hunting one of the most infamous serial killers of all time. This follows the same story of the acclaimed graphic novel by Hellboy creator, Mike Mignola. Still, there will be some classic Batman characters contained within the story outside of Bruce Wayne. The source material has Commissioner Gordon and Alfred in the story, and the film will also include their characters.
The new trailer, released by IGN, gives fans the best look yet at the adaptation, particularly its main villain Jack the Ripper. While the new movie will adapt the comic, the trailer makes it clear that Gotham by Gaslight will be adding its own twist to the Elseworld story by giving Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman, a major role.
Catwoman is featured in the trailer just much as Jack the Ripper, if not more so. Selina (voiced by Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter) appears to be almost a co-lead in the movie opposite Batman (Bruce Greenwood). Rather than having Selina take any villainous role, it appears Gotham by Gaslight's version will go for a more heroic character. Or at the very least, her interests will align with Bruce Wayne in taking down Jack the Ripper. This makes quite a bit of sense since Jack the Ripper, historically, targeted female victims and Catwoman has long been used as an avenging figure for abused women.
Of course there's still plenty of Ripper action in the trailer. In addition to seeing Jack hunt his victims (one of which appears to be Selina Kyle herself) the movie also introduces the "twist" that Bruce Wayne will find himself under suspicion of being the Ripper. Eventually Bruce will be imprisoned for his "crimes." This is another plot point lifted from the source material. It seems that no matter how much Gotham by Gaslight is changing certain elements, it will still be driving for the same effectively creepy tone of the original and keeping the heart of the story, one of the best in DC Elseworlds sub-genre, in tact.
There's always a chance that the changes could backfire, however. DC's recent animated features surrounding Batman, particularly Batman and Harley Quinn and the animated adaption of The Killing Joke, haven't been well received. Some of the harshest criticisms of both films have been directed at the changes they made to the source material, particularly in The Killing Joke where a messy romantic subplot was added to the story between Batgirl and Batman.
Fans will get to find out how the adaption of Gotham by Gaslight (and the changes being made to it) works out when the film releases sometime in 2018.