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Will Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns return in a new DC animated feature?

If you’re a bigwig at an animation company and have your pick to adapt a story from anywhere in the DC mythos, where do you go? After animation has covered just about every major character in DC’s pantheon, they have begun focusing in on specific story arcs to translated into animated movies, and rumors now have them aiming for the top of the mountain: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

BleedingCool.com is reporting an unsourced rumor saying that the DC Entertainment animation wing is in the “early stages of development” on a animated adaption of this, which could prove to be the darkest animated work they’ve done. There’s been no confirmation or denial by official sources, leaving fans to speculate on the veracity of this and also who could voice the characters — notably an aged Batman.

Thanks to its connection to parent company Warner Bros., DC Comics’ animated properties have long outpaced Marvel’s and the recent string of straight-to-DVD animated features only further cements that dominance. In recent years Marvel has made big strides to close that gap, but DC’s animated track record of Batman: The Animated Series, Teen Titans GO! and the Justice League series put them ahead.

Would you like to see this epic series animated? And going further, what other DC stories could be great as a cartoon?

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26 Comments

The one when Speedy shoots up.

I know it’s a pipe dream but Adam Strange’s Planet Heist or Palmiotti & Connor’s Power Girl Run would be good.

Realistically they should consider Jla/Jsa Virtue & Vice

As long as they ignore The Dark Knight Strikes Again then I’m all for it.

I wish they would do Kingdom Come but Bruce Timm has already said
that it’s not gonna happen.

Whatever happened to the Man Of Tomorrow-would make a good movie.

DKR animated could be great, but PLEASE make it longer than the usual 70 minute DCAU fare and please don’t water it down. This should be the equivalent of an R-rated movie were it released theatrically.

Oh, and in a very rare case of suggesting someone other than Kevin Conroy to voice Bruce/Bats, Michael Ironside (who did the voice in that brief DKR segment from B: TAS years ago) would be perfect. Though I have no doubt Conroy could do a great job too.

Kingdom Come would be an awesome choice, but I wasn’t aware Timm is against that. Why wouldn’t he want to do that one?

What the hell ever happened to the (long ago) promised adaptation of The Judas Contact?

Personally i’d really love to see “The Long Halloween”, “Dark Victory”, “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth” and of course a show which very easily could end up as my all time favorite “Gotham Central”.
If I on the other hand had could pick what ever I’d like, I’d definitely would end up picking all the major series from Vertigo: “Sandman”, “Preacher”, “Transmetropolitan”, “Y The Last Man” etc.

How about adapting the Alex Ross/Jim Krugar Justice series from a few years back.

I think in regards to Kingdom Come and the Judas Contract, they’ve said they wouldn’t be able to do those stories justice with a 70 min time limit.

But I do recall reading somewhere that Stan Berkowitz(sp?) has mentioned he still wants to do Judas Contract…just waiting for the time they can do larger movies or a tv miniseries or something.

I gotta second the recommendation to make them longer than 70 minutes. The brevity of these is what killed the heart of All-Star Superman and The New Frontier, removing my absolute favourite parts from each one.

How about a Cartoon Network series on Wonder Woman or… pleasepleaseplease… Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, aimed at kids, but watchable by adults, like JLU? Follow the TMNT model… five half-hour episodes as a mini-series. Run it for a week, issue the DVD, then gauge viewer reaction.

Anything with The Flash. Make it a race with Superman if they feel The Flash wouldn’t sell on his own.

they should make an animated trilogy of Crisis On Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis, the makings of a great dvd collection

I’d love to see a Swamp Thing animated movie – maybe in the style of the Alan Moore-era stories. I’m sure Alan Moore’s little face would light up at the thought. :-)

I second “The Long Halloween” idea and then the sequel being “Dark Victory”. I don’t suppose “Batman: Year One” could happen? Maybe edited so that we’re not showing Jim Gordon cheating on his wife to little kids.

With the Batman theme, I would like to see the Bane series were he defeats Batman, and going waaaaaayyy back how about Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson’s back of book story, “Manhunter”. He looked so cool with that Mauser Broomhandle.

Other ideas include the Mike Grell character, Warlord and his rendition of Green Arrow.

To Rob Jones: I wouldn’t doubt that a Swamp Thing feature couldn’t stand on its own merit but I do doubt, however, that Allan Moore’s face would light up at the thought of his stories being used because anytime something of his is adapted for anything whether its live action or otherwise he never wants his name even mentioned…..examples are Watchmen, From Hell, and V For Vendetta….its the fact that no one can stay true to his work and he get pissed off and wants nothing to do with it, I would love to see something from Allan Moore be adapted where studios don’t fuck anything up or divert from the original story but sadly its never gonna happen

They should definitely do a Dark Knight Returns series that would be amazing

Love the idea of a “Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade” series from Cartoon Network.
I think they could also maybe use the “Lois Lane, Girl Reporter” idea pitched by Dean Trippe.
Something like that would be a great addition to the DCAU, as ‘girl cartoons’ is an area they haven’t really explored yet, and if they made them enjoyable for all ages, it would probably have legs.

As for my own wishlist of Warner Premier movies -
- Seven Soldiers of Victory
- Checkmate
- Batman RIP
- Superman Beyond
- Final Crisis
* If they could do these as series of 70 mins features (perhaps spread across 5 or 6 features) in their own little continuity universe I’d buy the box set.

But that’s my own little pipe dream other suggestions would be:
- JLA: a league of One
- Arkham Asylam: A serious house on a serious earth
- Green Arrow: Quiver
- Maybe a Secret Six feature

“Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory” would be awesome, but if they do that they need to finish out Loeb’s trilogy and make “Catwoman: When in Rome” as well. And whoever first suggest Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing,” I would just like to tell you that you’re a genius! I would have never thought of that but it’s a brilliant idea. I’d also love to see “Green Arrow: Year One,” that could be sweet.

Also, how about some Elseworlds titles? “Superman: Red Son,” “The Blue, the Grey and the Bat,” or “Gotham by Gaslight” could be amazing.

This is the comic that got me interested in Batman. I would absolutely LOVE to see this on the big screen.

IsThisWhatAdulthoodLooksLike

April 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

“This should be the equivalent of an R-rated movie were it released theatrically.”

Batman is a children’s cartoon character who appeared on my Underoos when I was four years old.

I Hope DC animated starts using live actors to study their cartoon drawn character depth and shadows (limiting the digital pixel drawings down to a minimum) for there animated projects. This will cause for better realistic classic Disney quality movies thus boost their sales tremendously (I mean how much is it really to dig a little deeper Mr. Bruce Timm, since you’re in charge of things over at DC Animated, for better animation because batman deserves a better display of body language in the animated scenes you ca start by studying 1989′s Batman movie )

I mean really if you watch for example Walt Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, in the scene where she sings the song Part of your world look at the purple shadow hitting her face, look at her eyes, look at her body language, drawn and treated with such care that it’s to the point where the audience taps into her emotions for want of being human and we are automatically sold on her. (It’s all there in the body language, the hand jestures the eye pupils the world drawn around her you could see the reflection of the top of the ocean down on the ocean floor for crying out loud! WHERE IS THAT IN DC ANIMATION WHERE IS THE CHARACTER DEPTH? PLEASE DON’T MESS UP THESE NEXT TWO BATMAN PROJECTS BY USING THE SAME ART TECHNIQUE YOU GUYS AT DC USED ON BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES OR EVEN BATMAN RED HOOD, BECAUSE IT HAS NO CHARACTER DEPTH!!! STOP AIMING FOR STRAIGHT TO DVD RELEASES. BATMAN DESERVES A CINEMATIC APPROACH WITH A THEATRICAL MOVIE RELEASE FOR “Year One” and”The Dark Knight Returns” EVEN IF THEY ARE ANIMATED THATS MORE REASON TO HAND DRAW THEM YOU ARE MIXING FANTASY WITH REALITY (CHARACTER DEPTH) I APPRECIATE ALL WHO READ THIS

In an Interview Bruce Timm was at comic con talking about DC’s next three releases and said that “Batman:Year One was already finished being made and that it was shorter than expected which shows the lack of character depth right there for example, in certain scenes of movies things slow down in movies like Simba grieving over the death of his father in “The Lion King”, Perdy and Pongo in the first “Dalmatians” Peter Pan flying with windy and the lost boys to Neverland for the first time in Disney’s “Peter Pan”

In “Batman:The Red Hood the first scene should have been longer for a more cinematic approach the motor cycle ride that Batman took to get to Robin should have had a longer cinematic theme to it with more music rising giving viewers a little more hope for the survival of robin so that when the Joker finally kills him so that any audience could better relate to that emotion Batman was feeling. The Scene where Joker beets Robin in the beginning was a complete lack of character Depth, listen to the screams and sounds coming from Robin while he was being beat with a crow bar they barely fit the type of abuse he was enduring, you could even hear the crow bar hitting Robin without Robin making any noise or reaction its a poor show of realism(Character Depth)I know that this is a cartoon movie but how do you expect to sell an audience on caring what happens to the characters if your story doesn’t even have a little realism in it

In an Interview Bruce Timm was at comic con talking about DC’s next three releases and said that “Batman:Year One was already finished being made and that it was shorter than expected which shows the lack of character depth right there for example, in certain scenes of movies things slow down in movies like Simba grieving over the death of his father in “The Lion King”, Perdy and Pongo in the first “Dalmatians” Peter Pan flying with windy and the lost boys to Neverland for the first time in Disney’s “Peter Pan”

In “Batman:The Red Hood the first scene should have been longer for a more dramatic approach the motor cycle ride that Batman took to get to Robin should have had a longer dramatic theme to it with more music rising giving viewers a little more hope for the survival of robin so that when the Joker finally kills him so that any audience could better relate to that emotion Batman was feeling. The Scene where Joker beets Robin in the beginning was a complete lack of character Depth, listen to the screams and sounds coming from Robin while he was being beat with a crow bar they barely fit the type of abuse he was enduring, you could even hear the crow bar hitting Robin without Robin making any noise or reaction its a poor show of realism(Character Depth)I know that this is a cartoon movie but how do you expect to sell an audience on caring what happens to the characters if your story doesn’t even have a little realism in it

In my opinion the Best way for DC to handle the sound being animated in “Batman:Year one” is by studying and taking notes from Walt Disney’s “101 Dalmatian”, because there is a lot of narrative thinking from Jim Gordon in the popular Graphic Novel, which is why Jim Gordon should definitely be the narrator in the animated film, not always moving his mouth talking just sometimes thinking out loud to where the audience watching could hear his thoughts, that alone should put a 6minute gap in between the dialog allowing for a longer better “Batman: Year One” animated movie

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