The Dark Knight Returns, a Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic, is set for an animated cast for its two part animated feature coming out in the Fall of
2012 and early 2013. The synopsis of this classic is that Batman is retired and Gotham City has slid into a dystopian state ruled by a gang of hooligans called The Mutants. The 55-year old Bruce Wayne is forced to don the cape once more, this time partnering with a female Robin to not only stop the Joker but keep the peace when the city falls into chaos after being hit by an electromagnetic pulse.
Bruce Wayne/Batman will be voiced by Peter Weller (Robocop) and Modern Family’s middle child, Ariel Winter who will play Carrie Kelly, Robin. Other actors who will star in the animated feature: David Selby (starred in 1971 Dark Shadows) , Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean as Dr. Wolper. Jay Olivia who did work with Zack Snyder for the Man of Steel and directed Green Latern: Emerald Knights is working on the feature. Bob Goodman, writer on Syfy‘s Warehouse 13 will be doing the script. Bruce Timm, the animation guru and executive producer of Batman animated features states his thoughts on The Dark Knight Returns:
“Dark Knight Returns is the granddaddy of beloved comics properties that we’ve ever attempted (to adapt). There is definitely the imperative to get it right. The proper weight to his (Weller’s) voice. He definitely brings all of the world-weariness of the character and inner core of optimist covered in a cynical shell.”
This is the type of Batman that many fans have been wanting…desiring even. Many fans have wanted a live action Dark Knight Returns with Mickey Rourke to portray the aging Batman. I guess you can say that half the dream has been made for the fans who desire a realistic bad ass Batman on the screen. Peter Weller was the actor who portrayed Officer Alex J. Murphy/Robocop. Weller’s voice is just deep with a bit of heroism attached to it. This could be so due to the fact that he played as Robocop or his voice is just that awesome. I am not sure how well his dark hero voice will play on screen for The Dark Knight Returns, but I trust Bruce Timm. As Timm stated Weller will give Batman a righteous voice with dark skepticism.
If you have been watching ABC‘s Modern Family, you would know Ariel Winter. She plays Alex the know-it-all, nerd/dork (nork), middle sister of the Dunphys. I was somewhat surprised by Winter starring as Robin in this feature. The reasons for casting is basically because Modern Familly has been the top family comedy show winning Emmy Awards for its comedy. Now coming from a comedy show, you would think “Hey! This is no place for a stand-up act, little miss thing!” However, I should shed some light about Winter’s character, Alex. Of all the funny characters in the Dunphy family, she is the most cynical of them all. She is very serious with her little framed glasses, and makes it her business to point out everyone’s mistakes even her parents. She is an overachiever, independent, and a go-getter. Alex is not too much of funny character, but more of a character whom you can identify as the realistic person who will give those annoying words of wisdom. Away from Winter’s character, Alex, I think that she can maybe pull it off. Winter shares her thoughts on getting into her Robin character:
“How can I make her different from the other Robins, other than being female? She’s really tough and she needs to have an edge in her voice so I tried a lower register for her.”
Winter researched her role by watching Batman movies. Now, she is a young actress so I would not bash her for trying to lower her voice. I do not
think that lowering your voice would add more to the character, but rather distinguish Winter from her Alex Dunphy character. I do see how she might be feeling pressure to bring something new to the Robin character besides her gender. Carrie Kelly has her own edge as Robin, in which she is a bad ass using a slingshot as a weapon. Also, Carrie brings Bruce’s father figure side out of him that is very encouraging for Bruce. Since Jason Todd’s death, Bruce has isolated himself and taken the role as Batman as a chore. Carrie brings meaning back to fighting for justice in Gotham. I do believe that Winter would have to bring her A-game to the studio.
The Dark Knight Returns is the second animated feature of Frank Miller’s Batman graphic novels. Hopefully, this will be as good as Batman: Year One.
Comment below or on DKN Facebook about what you think of The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. Do you think The Dark Knight Returns will trump Batman: Year One? Does Peter Weller satisfy your realistic Batman? What do you think of Carrie Kelly as Robin in The Dark Knight Returns?
Source- Hollywood Reporter