60s Stars Clash in Animated Batman Film

In regards to nerdy pop culture, no two franchises stand out more in the 1960’s than Batman and Star Trek.  The Batman TV series turned the character into a household name, while Star Trek captured the imagination of its fans by taking them to the furthest sectors of the Milky Way.  Decades later, these series are still beloved by their fans while their franchises continue to flourish.  Batman is now one of the heaviest hitters at the box office, while Star Trek recently finished its trilogy of rebooted films with the successful Star Trek: Beyond.

While the stories and plot of Star Trek has more or less remained the same, Batman has changed a lot since the 1960’s.  No longer is he the campy, lighthearted, appearing in the daytime chum we saw from Adam West.  He’s now a dark, brooding creature of the night who seeks to terrify his enemies.

In his 77 years of history, Batman has certainly taken many forms, with none being better or worse than the other.  This is why DC Entertainment brought back Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar to voice Batman, Robin, and Catwoman respectively in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.  In the words of Adam West, we will see “two idols clash” in the sequel that was announced a few weeks ago at NYCC.  William Shatner, star of the 60’s Star Trek series, will be voicing the villain Harvey Two-Face in the unnamed sequel.

Fans of the Batman TV series know that the DA turned villain never appeared on the show.  However, there was a “lost episode” that was supposed to feature the villain, which was then turned into a comic book adaptation.  This new movie will be the first on screen appearance of the character based on the show.

When Adam West was asked about the similarities in delivering lines that he and William Shatner shared, he said:

“That’s kind of interesting.  I didn’t think of that, but you’re right.  I mean, I developed kind of a rhythm or a cadence for Batman that included a lot of musing, and thinking, and then suddenly getting an answer somehow.  ‘Oh, let’s check that scope again…There it is, Robin!’  That kind of thing, which I sort of felt the kids…when you go out and play Batman as a kid, you sort of talk that way.  Sort of enthusiastic, and with the rhythms being different.”

West and Shatner have already recorded their lines for the sequel, and although they did it separately, that didn’t stop them from having a good time.  “It’s fun to play Batman, especially with Shatner.  He’s got a good sense of humor, and we’re on the same level.  I just didn’t want to be influenced with his crazy rhythms.”

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is available now on Digital HD, and will be available on Blu-ray on November 1st.  The unnamed sequel will be arriving in 2017.


Chris Foti

Lifelong fan of Batman and Boston Sports