Robot 6

Batman Live unveils characters for $20-million arena tour

Somewhat overshadowed by the calamitous Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the other big-budget superhero stage production, Batman Live, made a splash Tuesday in London with the unveiling of the key characters.

Officially announced in November, the $20-million touring arena show pits Batman and Robin against their rogues gallery in an ambitious production that features a giant video screen, a Joker hot-air balloon, recreations of several Gotham City locations — it takes 20 trucks to haul it all — and a Batmobile created by legendary Formula One designer Gordon Murray.

Oh, and Es Devlin, who’s created stage and costume designs for Lady Gaga, is also working on the show.

“What it is really is rock and roll,” choreographer Anthony Van Laast told The Guardian at Tuesday’s launch. “Almost all of us come from a rock and roll background, we know we can fill an arena, we can do the whiz bangs and the special effects – all we needed was a really good yarn as the backbone of the show, and we’ve got that. It’s not a musical.”

Batman Live premieres July 19 in Manchester, and tours the U.K. through Oct. 8 before heading to Europe and then, in August 2012, North America.

After the break you can see video clips from Tuesday’s preview, including models of the elaborate sets and the introduction of the villains by The Joker. Superhero Hype has a gallery of the costumed performers.



Part bat
Part machine
All crap


Oh my, that looks horrid.

You know, I really, really hated the whole Turn Off the Dark thing… but this could actually work for Batman.

I mean, Spider-Man’s never been all that campy, but Batman has been campy in stretches. And the success of Brave and the Bold show there’s still fans of the campy Batman style. If anything, the supervillain outfits at least look faithful to the original… unlike S-M:TOTD’s Green Goblin, who looked like he was based on Lady Elaine Fairchild.

Rich Yanizeski

April 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm

The Joker looks like a wino that slept on a freshly painted bench.

So… Robin’s roughly the same age as Batman?

I know this is meant mostly for kids and families, but I’m so glad that my daughter (who loves superheroes) has zero interest in seeing this. Looks awful.

The only costume that looks reasonable to me is Catwoman… The rest just look silly, although several of them seem faithful to the comics. I suppose “loud” is needed if you’re playing to the cheap seats in large arenas.

But it still looks awful.

aside from the joker, everything else in those videos and pictures look absolutely terrible. I was looking forward to this, but after that garbage, count me out.

Joel S is off somewhere dancing a jig with a big grin on his face to the sight of this. It’s like Batman and Robin II. Ugh, pass.

This looks as though it may well be the worst thing ever.

Ouch. What an enormous waster of money and slap in the face to the Batman mythos. Is Joel Schumacher behind this? At least the sets look amazing. The acting was really unforgivably weak though.

What a buncha whiny bitches…..smh

Well it has some resemblance to a Batman interpretation albeit a version that was loathe. With that being said it’s better than SM:TOTD

What are you lot on about. The costumes need to be seen from afar, this is not hd tv folks. Thus the costumes needs to be able to be seen from the back, including lights etcetc. It actually looks better than i had any right to expect. Indeed the joker acting, is appears based on the Arkham Asylum video game and is not too ‘cheesy’ as a family show could easily be. Its not adam west camp neither which is what it easily could have been (again to entice the children and family’s money). It was never going to be a Nolan-esque batman and i’m actually quite impressed. Someone comments on the acting above. What is that based on? Only the joker does any acting and if you have ever seen a stage show its actually quite good.

I actually think some of you lot are just jealous that you haven’t got tickets. It’s fun people and called entertainment. Thats what the comics are too e.g. not real life but escapism. It certainly looks better than the spiderman effort….and i for one am excited by the prospect of seeing the opening manchester leg of the tour

I think it requires a sense of humor and an enjoyment of the 60’s Batman series.

Grim and gritty it’s not.

John DeSpirito

April 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

I’m so sick of this armor plated Batman crap. Thanks a lot Tim Burton.

This could be very interesting to watch.

I think it looks good. It looks like it could be a fun show.


April 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

Catwoman looks great.

I really hate that Joker segment it’s so stilted and ‘performed’ I know it’s not Shakespeare and it’s just showing you the characters but gods it was painful to watch.

I’m willing to give ti a chance, it might be good.

It looks like Joel Schumacher’s Batman is back.

Robin looks totally awesome!

“John DeSpirito
April 17, 2011 at 9:58 am

I’m so sick of this armor plated Batman crap. Thanks a lot Tim Burton.”

Actually John, Tim Burton has nothing to do with the thrid Batman movie where he wears a silver plate armor to fight Mr.Freeze. Mr Burton only wokrked in the first two movies.

casual comics reader

April 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

This looks great. It’s a family friendly action stunt show. Get over it.

And if that animated sequence didn’t give you chills, you’re not a Batman fan.

This looks like it’s nailed the audience it’s aiming for (hint, it’s probably no one posting on this thread).

Wow, Joker looks like Romeo, Ivy looks like a Stripper Robin looks thirty, and Batman looks like Clooney.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND DC sells out again!!

For once I wish comic book companies has an ounce of self-respect. Christ. This looks beyond horrible. Batman was never conceived and should never be marketed for kids. It’s a dark character that lives in a dark world of vigilantism, psychotic obsession and police corruption. Might as well market Goodfellas to kids.

And whoever said that comics are pure escapism needs to hold their breath for like 10 minutes. It’s that attitude that has made people look down on comics in the U.S. Comic books are just like novels…a medium for stories…and they have to be good and well-crafted. People like you who think comics should have no standards to aspire to are what’s wrong with the industry.

Zor-El of Argo

April 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I love live theater and I love Batman. This looks like it can be an excellent blending of the two. I would not want to see these costumes in a movie or tv show but they look great for a stage production. Ivy’s costume would look even better on my girlfriend.

In a live play the people dressed all in black are often stage hands whom the audience, in thier suspension of disbelief, are supposed to ignore. Thus, in this setting, the shiny armor is appropriate. And keep in mind, he is known as the “Dark Knight” and this is a British production. In the Old World knights dress in shining armor.

I just hope this comes to West Michigan.

Crap crap crap…. it´s so sixties… even worst than turn off the dark…. the music reminds me so much to the crap of batman forever or batman and robin films… and the costumes are so like those movies i mentioned before also… it should be called knightfall… a total disaster

Look its gonna be what it is – a huge circus with a theme and some cool special effects.

We will be going with the kids and enjoying it loads i am sure.

This is… weird. A 20 million dollar live Batman scenario? I thought theatre was out of style? Well I guess people will do anything for a quick buck. At least the kids will love it.

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