Attendees at the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 panel at the IGN Theater in the Jacob Javits Convention Center at the New York Comic-Con on Saturday got a sneak peek at the epic animated conclusion to Frank Miller’s story featuring Gotham City’s Caped Crusader.
Moderator Gary Miereanu introduced long-time DC Animated producers: multiple Emmy Award winner, voice and dialogue director Andrea Romano, along with as called by Miereanu, “the architect of superhero animation” Bruce Timm. To the crowd’s delight, intros were immediately followed by a trailer of the upcoming sequel to Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1.
Another clip was shown which featured the Joker on a talk show, in which the host was voiced by Conan O’Brien. At first the footage was campy, then turned rather sinister as the Joker manifested his controlled viciousness.
Bruce Timm spoke about splitting the series into two parts, Romano spoke of the immense amount of voices needed to make the feature, (headed by Peter Weller as The Dark Knight), which she was able to streamline by employing most of her friends in the voice business to do the film. Timm mentioned that it was important to keep the style of Miller’s graphic novel and by doing so, they didn’t revert back to the old standbys employed by the previous animated and live-action versions. Another clip was shown, and Timm once again stressed the need and desire to transcend this film from a typical bombastic symphonic soundtracks which were stock in trade in so many comic productions and instead, replaced by synthesizers in the very 80s style of groups such as Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk.
Q&A from the crowd then commenced mainly from rabid fans of this series who lined up in droves. Questions ranged from inquiring how daunting it was for the production team to keep the storied Dark Knight franchise fresh, what other titles would be coming to DC Animated, and would there be a certain character with swastikas on her breasts in The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2. Timm confirmed that charactered and explained that somehow swastikas on naked breast did not guarantee an R-rated, yet tobacco does, which is why in a previous movie Commissioner Gordon is chewing nicotine gum instead of smoking a cigar. Timm also stressed that he would love to make a Batman Beyond adaptation. Romano put into context how she directed the actors.
For fans of this series, the second part of this Frank Miller adaptation will be sure the whet the appetites of many generations of one of the most storied and legendary characters in comic history, the Dark Knight, Batman.
During the panel it was revealed that DC Animation would be doing an upcoming animated comedy called Lego Batman: The Movie: DC Super Heroes Unite in which a hilarious trailer was shown. The film will be released in Spring 2013, and was done completely in LEGO fashion, and showcased Batman leading the Justice League. A cornucopia of villains from the DC canon will be in the film, including stalwarts Lex Luthor and the inimitable Joker.
As well as the aforementioned LEGO Batman movie, other DC Animated projects coming up for 2013 will be Superman Unbound, based on the Superman Brainiac story by Geoff Johns, as well as another Johns story, Justice League: Flashpoint, coming in late Summer/mid-Fall. Miereanu said to be on the lookout for a possible premiere of Flashpoint at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 in July.
Additional contribution by Empress Eve; Photos by Dave3.