Last night at New York Comic-Con, Warner Bros. Animation held the world premiere for their latest animated feature – Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. The film, a continuation of the 1960s live-action Batman series, reunites stars Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar as the voices of their iconic roles and will next release in select U.S. theaters for a one-day only screening courtesy of Fathom Events. The animated film will then release on digital HD the following day and on Blu-ray and DVD November 1st.
Having already produced a popular comic book based on the 1960s Batman series, the timing is just right to revive the classic property through animation – especially with the original actors alive and able to contribute! Both the trailer and a recently released clip have the camp and wit the classic series was always known for on full display, and its bright colors and positively far out designs are perfectly reproduced in animation.
And though the film has yet to screen outside of NYCC, a sequel to Return of the Caped Crusaders was announced during the panel following the premiere. The sequel is set for a 2017 release and will feature William Shatner as the voice of Two-Face (via THR).
Originally, Two-Face didn’t appear on the classic Batman series, but a never produced script outline from writer Harlan Ellison did feature the duplicitous villain going up against West’s Bright Knight. That story eventually saw the light of day in comic form as an issue in DC’s Batman ’66 line. Based on Ellison’s story, “The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face” was written by Len Wein with artwork by José Luis Garcia-Lopez, Alex Sinclair, Joe Prado, and variant cover from Alex Ross.
Whether or not the animated film will also adapt Ellison’s story isn’t known, but bringing Shatner onboard to voice Two-Face is definitely a masterstroke. Known the world over as Captain Kirk, Shatner was also very much a regularly working actor before Star Trek, appearing in small roles and guest spots on variety of 1960s television shows. Most famously, Shatner starred in a few episode of The Twilight Zone, and it’s entirely conceivable that had Shatner not had his big break on the Enterprise, he may have turned up as a guest star on Batman. Perhaps in some alternate universe that’s just what happened, but here in our reality we’ll at least be treated to hearing Shatner voice Two-Face’s pun-laden lines with that signature delivery of his.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders premieres in select U.S. theaters on Oct. 10, 2016 and will be released on digital HD one day later, and arrives on DVD/Blu-ray on November 1, 2016. A sequel is expected in 2017.
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