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Peter Weller to Voice Batman in Animated Dark Knight Returns

RoboCop star Peter Weller provide the voice of Batman in Warner Bros.’ animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, the seminal 1986 miniseries by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, Heat Vision reports. Ariel Winter (Modern Family) will play Robin.

First rumored about a year ago, and then officially announced in July at Comic-Con International, the direct-to-video adaptation will be released in two parts under the DC Comics Premiere Movie banner, which apparently will replaced the five-year-old DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, Part 1 will debut in the fall, with Part 2 arriving in early 2013.

Weller and Winter will be joined by veteran actor David Selby (Dark Shadows), Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Two-Face/Harvey Dent, and Michael McKean as Dr. Wolper, the psychiatrist who releases the Joker from the asylum.

The films are directed by Jay Oliva, who not only storyboarded Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, but also helmed Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and several episodes of Cartoon Network’s Young Justice. Oliva also has in his corner exectuive producer Bruce Timm, who has overseen most of DC’s animated projects since Batman: The Animated Series.

Dark Knight Returns is the granddaddy of beloved comics properties that we’ve ever attempted [to adapt],” Timm said. “There is definitely the imperative to get it right.”

Set a decade after an aging Bruce Wayne quit crimefighting in the wake of Jason Todd’s death, The Dark Knight Returns 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.


  • TheCrouton

    Peter Weller?  He’s a good actor certainly, but there is only one man for this job.  After years of getting the voice right, surely Kevin Conroy should be doing this?!

  • Yanks5179

    I’m not opposed to the movie, but seriously, why not just make this line the Batman/Superman line?  I have every one of these movies and the majority are Batman and Superman.  How about a Flash movie?  Another Wonder Woman one?  Birds of Prey?  We’ve had TWO Batman/Superman films, the Superman/Shazaam short film (that came with the other shorts), the Gotham Knights one, the Red Hood and Year One movies, the Doomsday film and All-Star one and now Elite coming soon.

    You have more than TWO characters.  Use them already.

  • Demoncat4

    figured as much as i was hoping dc would let kevin do batman again in an animated project dc would go with some one else mostly because batman is way older in dark knight returns . though no reveal on who is doing the joker in it yet? but at least finaly dark knight returns animated.can’t wait

  • Kevin Samples

     While I can appreciate your frustration with DC’s repeated use of Batman and Superman as the featured characters in their animated films, I fear you are wasting your breath.  DC already announced (a couple years ago now I believe) that, following disappointing sales of their non-big Two led animated flicks (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern), no further solo films would be produced that didn’t feature either Supes or Bats, thereby scuttling a proposed Batgirl film.  Obviously, if Warner Bros ever makes any additional live action feature films for other solo characters that are financially successful, that policy would mostly likely change.  However, until then … this is what we get

  • darthtigris

    That makes sense.  It’s not as if Conroy has ever voiced an old Bruce Wayne or anything …

  • Michael Koby

    Which is really sad, because the Wonder Woman animated movie was REALLY good. The Green Lantern “First Flight” wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either, and Emerald Knights (the Green Lantern movie animated “anthology” “prequel”) was decent as well (I’d argue it was better than First Flight).

    I think with the right writers and voice cast they could do something really good with the other characters. That being said, even the worse DC animated movie is still done better than the best Marvel animated movie (Planet Hulk is the only one that’s on par with DC’s animated stuff).

  • Yanks5179

     I agree with what you said, and the flip side no one buys Character X is to say people CAN’T buy Character X if you don’t put any products with Character X in it.  They won’t take any risks and just write off 100s of characters because two movies didn’t do as well as they thought–ironic since the lead of one of those has actually had TWO films (First Flight and Emerald Warriors) AND has his own cartoon that they’ve been plugging the hell out of! :-)

  • RunnerX13

    I love Conroy, but he can’t voice Batman every since time, not unless WBs clones him and/or enslaves him. 

  • Thalia

    Pictures look good, much better than the new superman one. I wish dc still did their showcase shorts, the Catwoman and Jonah Hex ones were really good.

  • Graigharvey

     Not only was the Wonder Woman movie excellent, it was actually one of their best-sellers, despite their claims to the contrary.

  • Duder

    FYI – that’s not **exactly** correct.  Yeah, after Wonder Woman’s performance they scuttled Batgirl.  But while GL First Flight (the first GL animated flick) didn’t set the world on fire right away, it made up its budget over time.  So much so a sequel was planned, until a movie-tie-in took its place. (Emerald Knights)

    And at last year’s SDCC some Warner Bros. execs strongly hinted that there would be another GL animated film, with the involvement of Geoff Johns.

  • sandwich eater

    I would like to point out that now Peter Weller has been both Robocop and Batman making him perhaps the greatest actor ever.

  • andrew

    Bruce Timm said out of the gate it sold slowly, but over time it sold well, but WB wanted it to sell well ASAP

  • Namtab

    I like DKR (like, not love), but to me Kevin’s Batman is honestly a better man than DKR’s (and a lot better than All-Star Batman). I certainly want Kevin to keep doing the voice of Batman, but only for the right projects.

    I think the choice of Peter Weller is pretty brilliant, since DKR came out in ’86, just a year before Weller’s Robocop.

  • Toph

    Yeah, he would be a good choice for an old Batman (not to take away from Conroy who’s THE voice of Batman in my head).

    It should be someone who has a lot of age in his character… the moment you hear his voice you should think… this guy’s been through the ringer a few times. Someone like Kris Kristofferson (Whistler from Blade) might work or even Lance Hendriksen (Bishop from Aliens).

    Nevertheless, I’d like to see what Weller can do with the part. Definitely something to look forward to.

    As for other DC Heroes seeing the spotlight? Well, as long as WB big-wig producers aren’t long fanboys, non-Batman/Superman animated movies will be a hard sell. For now, I’m happy to see them pop up now and then on Young Justice.

  • ultraaman

    For in-continuity stories, such as they are in the realm of DVD, I only ever want to hear Kevin (I hated Adam Baldwin in Crisis on Two Earths).  For other stories like this one which are basically Elseworld stories or new series like the The Batman, B&B, or Young Justice, I’m OK with other actors taking a stab at Batman.

  • Shawn J Douglas

    I wish they had gotten Michael Keaton to voice Batman. And Tim Curry for Joker. 

  • 8765432

    Yeah,  Kevin Conroy. The most overrated person in the entire Batman universe. Whew, glad the decided to go with an actor instead of a voice hack.