In light of the recent tragedy at a showing of Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, Warner Bros. Animation has decided to take steps to tone down some of the violent imagery in the upcoming Cartoon Network animated series Beware The Batman. Following the Colorado massacre and subsequent public outcry, Warner Bros. Animation VP and executive producer Sam Register has reportedly ordered a complete review of the entire animated series.
While Warner Brothers has declined to make an official statement as of yet, it’s reported that alterations to the new Batman cartoon will include the changing of the shape of gun barrels from a more accurate rounded shape to a square, more stylized sci-fi-like weapon. In addition, certain situations depicted on the show that have been deemed "too realistic" will equally be changed to appear more sensitive to viewers.
Also receiving a major revamp is the representation of the gun-toting Alfred Pennyworth. The normally tranquil butler is usually depicted as a supporting character in the Batman franchise, but the Beware The Batman ex-secret agent version of Alfred is thrust into the foreground as one of the Dark Knight’s primary in-the-field sidekicks, along with the sword wielding 'Katana.' WB is expected to tone down the look and new personality of the Beware version of Alfred.
It should be noted that the decision to scrub down the violent imagery of Beware The Batman appears to be a proactive choice made by Register, and not the request of the Warner Bros. higher-ups, or as a result of a new overall policy. It remains to be seen if all the changes will push back the 2013 airdate of Beware The Batman, but as the series employs cutting-edge CGI, (like that of Green Lantern: The Animated Series) it is expected to cost a serious sum to retool.
Expected to premiere next year as part of Cartoon Network's "DC Nation" animated block, Beware The Batman takes a slightly different look at the Dark Knight, pairing him with swordstress Katana and ex-British secret agent Alfred Pennyworth to fight crime on the mean streets of Gotham City. The series was expected to take a darker more realistic tone, and will also side-step some of the more well-known Bat-villains in favor of more obscure comic-based enemies like Anarky, Professor Pig, Mister Toad, King Kraken and Humpty Dumpty – but it has been confirmed that Ra's al Ghul will appear in the first season.
Beware The Batman is not the only Warner Bros. project feeling the backlash from the catastrophic Colorado shooting which left 13 dead and an additional 58 injured; DC Comics has also delayed the release of Batman Incorporated #3 by a month, as the issue features a teacher who threatens her students with a gun. Along with Batman-related ventures, WB has pushed back the release of the upcoming Ryan Gosling film Gangster Squad until January 11, 2013, to recut a scene depicting a movie theater shooting.
Keep your eye on the main page for more info on Beware The Batman that might arise.