Batman: Year One
After DC Comics revamped their universe with Crisis on Infinite Earths, they rebooted their key characters Superman with John Byrne, Wonder Woman by George Perez and Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One with artist David Mazzzuchelli. Originally printed in four parts in 1987, the origin adventure was a massive hit with fans and detailed the early days of Bruce Wayne’s war on crime in a grim film noir-influenced version of Gotham City.
A very important chapter in the Batman mythos, Batman: Year One is in many ways more important than the more well-known Dark Knight Returns and had a strong influence on Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins. Recently announced as the upcoming direct to DVD DC Animation project, fans finally have not only a glimpse of what Year One will look like as an animated movie, but are also finally privy to the voice cast.
Hot on the heels of a convention season-debut for “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights,” Warner Bros. Animation has begun to roll out the plans for their next DC Universe Animated Original Movie: a feature-lenght adaptation of Frank Miller and David David Mazzucchelli’s 1986 hard-boiled comic classic “Batman: Year One.”
The Hollywood Reporter today has word on the full details of the project. Aside from a first look at stills from the feature directed by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu, the trade reported on the casting and creative lineup for the feature. “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston’s Lt. James Gordon (years ahead of his ascent to Gotham’s Police Commissioner), joining former “The O.C.” actor Ben McKenzie as Bruce Wayne. Rounding out the vocal cast will be Eliza Dushku and Katee Sackhoff who play Selina Kyle and Sarah Essen respectively. Alex Rocco takes on the part of mob boss Carmine Falcone in the script by Tab Murphy.
“The source material is surprisingly cinematic; it’s a pretty straight forward literal retelling,” executive producer Bruce Timm told the trade. “Mazzucchelli’s artwork is beautifully composed and we were able to refer to the comic for about 80 percent of the camera setups.”
“I wasn’t aware of this level of storytelling in animation. I confess that freely,” Cranston added. “They didn’t give the characters the short shrift. I was stunned.”
Timm said that the film would have a debut at July’s Comic-Con International in San Diego. “Year One” is expected to be followed up by “Justice League: Doom” – an adaptation of Mark Waid and Howard Porter’s “JLA: Tower of Babel” – and according to rumors a take on Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” may be next in the offing.
For more on “Year One,” check out both pieces at The Hollywood Reporter, and stay tuned to CBR News and Spinoff Online for all the word on the future of DC Universe Animated.