SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
Batman fans on this side of the pond who have been eagerly awaiting word on when the Batman Live tour would hit the United States need wait no longer–according to the tour’s website, the multimillion-dollar production arrives in Anaheim Sept. 5-9, followed by stops in Los Angeles, Minnesota, Las Vegas and more.
Adapted from the DC Comics characters and stories, Batman Live focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero – the mysterious vigilante known as Batman – much to the dismay of his protective guardian, billionaire Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows is secretly Batman. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson must learn to overcome their own fears and forge their own family – with the help of Police Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth – if they’re going to survive the combined forces of Batman’s larger-than-life rogues’ gallery, some of the most famous and beloved villains of the 20th century.
With a 42-member cast, Batman Live also features Alfred, Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and The Penguin. The action takes place in several settings from the famed stories, including Gotham City, Wayne Manor, the Batcave, and Arkham Asylum.
Here are the North American dates they’ve announced so far:
Anaheim, CA — Sept. 5-9
St. Paul, MN — Sept. 13-16
San Jose, CA — Sept. 20-23
Los Angeles, CA — Sept. 27-30
Las Vegas, NV — Oct. 3-7
Oklahoma City, OK — Oct. 10-14
Rio Rancho, NM — Oct. 17-21
Colorado Springs, CO — Oct. 23-24
Loveland, CO — Oct. 26-28
While the pre-overhaul Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark seemed somewhat avant garde, maybe even surreal, with its eight-legged spider goddess, Swiss knife-inspired villainess and DayGlo Goblin, the upcoming Batman Live struck me as pretty straightforward: For all of its bullet-time effects, the first trailer for the arena tour looked like someone had simply translated Batman: Hush into a live-action production.
But then today England’s Liverpool Echo released a four-minute sneak peek of the show, and “straightforward” went right out the window. The sequence, bathed in black light, is somehow both languid and manic, with Batman confronted first by a gigantic head of Joker, and then by his minions — who form the teeth of the demonic maw before dropping down and rolling onto the stage. The scene turns even more disturbing as the henchmen form into some kind of psychedelic majorette troupe that’s seen too many performances of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. All the while, Dick Grayson is being held captive in … a big hamster ball.
Watch the trailer after the break (you won’t be sorry). Batman Live opens July 19 in England, and then finds its way to North America in August 2012. After seeing this delirium-inducing preview, all I can say is it can’t get here soon enough.
Not to be outdone by the retooled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which released a new TV spot a couple of weeks ago, the producers of Batman Live have premiered a curious bullet-time trailer for their $20-million arena tour, courtesy of Total Film.
Officially announced in November, the live-action (non-musical) 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, and a Batmobile created by legendary Formula One designer Gordon Murray.
Check out the trailer after the break. 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.
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.
Officially announced in November, the multimillion-dollar production, which naturally draws comparisons to the troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, will pit Batman and Robin against such villains as the Joker, Catwoman, the Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn. But at the story’s core is Dick Grayson’s transformation from traumatized orphan to Boy Wonder, and how Batman relates to his new sidekick.
As you can see above and after the break, the newspaper has photos of models of a Joker hot-air balloon, the 100-feet by 60-feet performance area backed by a giant video screen, and the Flying Graysons circus set. (According to the article, “there will be an onstage disaster with a hot-air balloon and a Joker face whose eyes, teeth and hair are made up of dozens of dancers.”) The show also will recreate such Gotham City locations as Wayne Manor, the Batcave and Arkham Asylum.
Batman Live kicks off on July 20 in Manchester, then tours the U.K. through Oct. 8 before heading to Europe and then North America.
Batman Live, the big-budget arena show that premieres in July in the United Kingdom before touring Europe and North America, will focus on the relationship between the Caped Crusader and his sidekick.
First reported in April but officially announced this week, the multimillion-dollar production uses 45 performers, a 100-foot stage and a 130-foot-wide video screen to recreate such Gotham City locations as Wayne Manor, the Batcave and Arkham Asylum.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, the show opens with an Arkham jailbreak and pits Batman and Robin against such villains as the Joker — a 26-foot giant Joker head is somehow involved — Catwoman, the Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn. But at the story’s core is Dick Grayson’s transformation from traumatized orphan to Boy Wonder, and how Batman relates to his new sidekick.
“We want to bring out a whole other level to Batman by looking at Robin’s journey from a circus performer to an orphan after his parents are killed, to a superhero,” Johns tells the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. (Update: Although the article identifies Johns as the show’s writer, he isn’t handling the script.) “Batman lost his parents, but he can cope with his pain and owns it. Then he sees this boy and it reopens all those wounds. Robin’s journey very much brings up Bruce Wayne’s journey. […] I think very much that Robin brings out a whole new level to Batman. I actually think it is more about Bruce Wayne and Batman than almost any story.”