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Is WB Developing An Animated Dark Knight Returns Movie?

A long-rumored adaptation of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s landmark 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns finally may be in the works — as an animated movie.

Citing “multiple sources,” Bleeding Cool reports the project is already in the early stages of development, with the involvement of “several veterans of Batman toons past.”

If true, The Dark Knight Returns would join Warner Bros. Animation’s expanding list of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, which includes the recently released All-Star Superman, the upcoming Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and Batman: Year One, and the just-announced Justice League: Doom. The latter direct-to-video film will debut early next year, which means we wouldn’t see The Dark Knight Returns any earlier than mid- to late 2012.

Set a decade after an aging Bruce Wayne quit crimefighting in the wake of Jason Todd’s death, the four-issue miniseries brings Batman out of retirement to save Gotham from sinking deeper into decay and lawlessness. With the help of a new, female Robin, Carrie Kelly, the Dark Knight ends the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city and confronts two of his greatest enemies. But then he must face his former ally Superman in a battle that only one will survive.

Everyone from Watchmen and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder to the Hughes Brothers to Batman franchise producer Michael Uslan have expressed a desire to adapt the influential comic as a live-action film, but the project has never gotten anywhere.


  • Jason

    Would love to see DKR animated!

  • Anonymous

    Yea I rather this is a animated film to be honest. Get Micahel Ironside to reprise Bruce as he did on Batman: The Animated Series.

  • Rick Mease

    This would be insane if given the proper treatment. It needs the right script and it goes without saying that this one’s special and needs to be longer than the typical DC animated project. I’m liking Michael Ironside but the (classic) Frank Miller fan in me screams for Clint Eastwood….not that it will ever happen. I remember after reading DKR and Year One, I was chomping at the bit for more Batman stories by Miller….too bad everything else blew.

  • Sephy

    Kevin Conroy or bust

  • Jacob

    I’m done with Conroy. I think with Hamill being done, Conroy should too. Having one without the other wouldn’t feel right to me…

  • nik

    Conroy is the voice of Batman, simple as that. However, in the Legends episode, Michael Ironside did the Dark Knight Returns voice. That was pretty awesome.

  • Jacob

    Other people have done wonderful voices for Batman. I quite like Bruce Greenwood, who voiced him in Under the Red Hood and Young Justice.

  • Shift

    If they do, he HAS to say “I’m the Goddamn Batman”. I know he didn’t say it in DKR, but its become if its a Frank Miller story, they need to add it in.

  • ATK

    Michael Ironside as the elder Batman! I love Conroy but this is something I’ve longed to see for a long time and he even did the voice on Batman the Animated Series that had a story loosely based on Dark Knight Returns.