Director and producer Mike Roth has described the reasoning for the very different interpretation of Damian Wayne we’ll be seeing in the upcoming holiday special, Merry Little Batman.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roth described wanting to create a Christmas special that sees Batman and his villains from a child’s eye view. The story goes that a very young, toddler Damian Wayne must prevent the Joker and the Riddler from breaking into Wayne Manor and ruining Christmas. Over the course of the adventure, Damian will wear a little Batman suit. The boy is depicted as much younger than he traditionally has been in the comics or other media, but that’s intentional.
Because it’s a Christmas story, telling it through the eyes of a child seemed apropos. Typically, Damian is a teenager who struggles with good and evil. While this was an interesting idea that was initially explored, we landed on a younger Damian. We decided to turn the clock back on Damian’s petulant nature to a time when he was more innocent and wide-eyed.
The idea of a teeny, tiny, little kid in this huge city aspiring to become Batman like his dad was such a fun starting point. It gave us the heart and comedy we were looking for and opened the window to a Gotham City Christmas like we’ve never seen before.”
Jonas Kibreab is the voice of Damian Wayne in this special.
The Joker in ‘Merry Little Batman’
The Joker is also a character that Roth puts his unique spin on. Here, the villain is depicted as like a more murderous version of a kid who never grew up.
He’s heavily inspired by Bob Fosse’s portrayal of the Snake in the 1974 version of The Little Prince. Our Joker is a perfect foe to a little kid because he is basically like a big, peevish child himself — coaxing, cunning, and apt to rapid and irrational tantrums. His temperament swings from merry to murderous faster than you can say, ‘Holy nightmare, Batman.'”
It sounds like this will be a weird, but interesting take on the Caped Crusader and the Bat Family, and how can you go wrong with it being set at Christmas? If it’s even half as good as my personal favorite Batman Christmas story, then it’ll be great.
Merry Little Batman swings onto Prime Video on December 8th.
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