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Who Is The Voice Of Batman In WB's Animated Two Part THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?

Nordling here.

When THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS was announced last year, I was hoping that Warner Brothers would splurge and hire the one and only Clint Eastwood to voice Bruce Wayne and Batman.  That didn't happen, but DC Entertainment did a terrific job in getting a voice regardless.  According to Hollywood Reporter, Peter Weller, RoboCop himself, will be voicing Wayne/Batman in this animated adaptation of Frank Miller's classic story.  If he can drop in a "Your move, creep" here and there that'd be just dandy.

THR reported other voices that have bene cast so far - Ariel Winter (MODERN FAMILY) will be the voice of Robin, Wade Williams (PRISON BREAK) is Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean will play the psychiatrist Dr. Wolper, who worked in getting Dent released from Arkham Asylum and works with the Joker.  On a related note, we wish Michael McKean a speedy recovery from his auto accident yesterday.  No word on Joker casting yet, but wouldn't it be a trip if they got Kurtwood Smith or John Lithgow to do it?

I know this is a direct-to-DVD movie, and animated to boot, but it's important that WB gets this one right.  I don't anticipate a live-action adaptation for quite some time, and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS ain't for kids.  WB will be releasing this in two parts - THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS PART 1 and PART 2, so while I'm not sure that two parts were necessary, they seem to at least be aware of the scope of the story.  DC and Warner Brothers know that the fans are fairly rabid for this one, and hopefully we'll get THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS properly done and with no punches pulled.  Peter Weller is a great start on that road.

Click here for images from the movie.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 23, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    First again!

    by lordjaga

  • May 23, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Great News!

    by lordjaga

  • May 23, 2012, noon CST


    by sjfatty

    They should use the same voice from the Dark Knight Returns segment in BTAS

  • May 23, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST


    by Mark Perry

    Why not Mr. Kevin Conroy? He's been "The Bat" longer than anyone, and done a pretty good job at it to boot.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    They should get David L. Lander for the Joker!

    by Nice Marmot

  • May 23, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    re: yodajammies

    by Secretagentnumber6

    My thoughts exactly. Conroy is the voice of Animated Batman, and not casting him is unfortunate. Although Weller will do fine I am sure.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    weller on house

    by rakesh patel

    he was in it for like a minute. i thought he was going to play a bigger part in the finale... and nothing. i felt a bit short changed.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    what happened to Kevin Conroy?

    by Titus05

    he was great in the animated Batman series and the Arkham Asylum/City games

  • Peter Weller has a very distinct manner of articulating. Seems on odd match with the character. Much better than Clint Eastwood, though. Maybe 20 years ago, but these days Mr. Eastwood's raspy voice sounds much older than that of a 55 year old man.

  • Couldn't Nolan do 1 more Batman movie, based on this? With Powers Boothe as Batman

  • May 23, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    I Hope By Part II They Don't Mean

    by optimous_douche

    Dark Knight Returns 2 - a comic abortion.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    i also like conroy and Greenwood

    by rakesh patel

    eastwood would have been excellent. but the dark knight returns? 20 years late?

  • May 23, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    There is only one voice for Batman ... and his name is Kevin Conroy!

    by Judge Briggs

    No reason to hire outside of Conroy ... he's the fan favorite for a reason.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    the dark night returns part !

    by Dollar Bird

    The first part is so good, they exclaim it. But, seriously, if "Your move, creep" was said by Batman as a little nod to Weller's previous work, don't you think that would be a little obtuse, not dandy? Maybe it's just me... And although I grew up under the reign of several different Batmans, let me put in my 2¢ that Kevin Conroy will always be the one I think of as definitive.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:14 p.m. CST

    I just hope the animation is as distinctive

    by richievanderlow

    as it was in the source material. This story deserves a unique treatment. The Year One animation was serviceable, but came across too much like the TV show. I'm sure this will be similar, but one can dream....

  • May 23, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Why couldn't they wait a few years...

    by SebastianHaff

    Till the hullabaloo over the Nolan films has died down and do this as a big-budget tentacle live action film?

  • Unless they plan to do post work on his voice, which I'm sure they will.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    It should be Michael Keaton!!

    by AOTF

    Poor choice. It should be Michael Keaton!

  • May 23, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    dollar bird

    by Nice Marmot

    What about, "stay out of trouble" ?

  • May 23, 2012, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Cool, but Michael Ironside did it first.

    by Just_Some_Guy

    In that 10-minute homage to Dark Knight Returns in the ol' animated series. I don't think that Weller can be as cool as Ironside.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    yeah, the Ironside one was pretty badass

    by murray_hamilton

  • May 23, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Bryan Cranston Returning as Gordon?

    by Leto III

    That bit of casting wasn't mentioned up there, and Cranston said he'd love to reprise the role in the future. His work on "Batman: Year One" was fantastic, and there'd be a bookending symmetry to hiring him for the "other" big Frank Miller Bat-tale.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by murray_hamilton

    this should've been made by Warner Bros. way back in 86 with Clint Eastwood right after Heartbreak Ridge when he was in his fifties and built like a tank

  • May 23, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Should be Jimmy Smiths!

    by Semen Stains

  • May 23, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Seems like a good choice...

    by Tom Fremgen

    sadly the best choice to me would have been old Chuck Heston- gun totting with the angels now.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I always thought Eastwood would be PERFECT in a TDKR movie.

    by tylerzero

  • May 23, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Michael McKean just got hit by a car today!

    by Jake Pantlin

    Was hit by a cab in New York when it jumped a curb and hit him on a sidewalk. He is in the hospital right now in critical (but stable) condition :(

  • The run time of the recent movies has been far too short! Year One being the prime example. That movie was really, really rushed.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    "Rubber bullet... I swear." - Yep, that's Michael Ironside!

    by impossibledreamers

  • May 23, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    The Dark Knight Returns is garbage written by a self-indulgent hack

    by The Krypton Kid

  • May 23, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    David tennant

    by Turd Furgeson

    If he can do American, would be an inspired choice and probably not too expensive....

  • May 23, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    they should adapt all-star b & r first since

    by JAMF

    it follows batman year one, right? great series. nuts to anyone who says otherwise.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    did they approach Keaton?

    by Axl Z

    That would've been cool.. Would love to see a Batman Beyond film with Keaton after Bales are done & dusted..

  • May 23, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    krypton kid

    by composerguy

    The only one who seems to be acting like a fanboy right now is you. We get it. Everyone gets it. You don't like Miller. Awesome. Are you done sperging about it on a message board to people who don't care now?

  • May 23, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    They should've gotten Adam West.

    by bat725

  • May 23, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST

    krypton kid is the last remaining Superman fanboy on Earth.

    by bat725

  • May 23, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Keaton for the Joker

    by Crimson Dynamo

    and why does everyone always want to cast Clint Eastwood as Batman?

  • May 23, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I liked Ironside. Maybe they can have Weller play the Joker?

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

  • May 23, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Kiefer Sutherland has a great voice for Batman.

    by thedarklinglord

    They seriously need to make that happen.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by The Krypton Kid

    Yep, just the type of braindead Batman fanboy I was referring to. BATMAN PWNED SUPERMAN! IT WAZ TEH AWSUM!!! Yeah, that wasn't Superman. That was some perverse swill that Miller poured out of the polluted swamp festering inside his cranium.

  • Kevin Conroy would have been my next choice, as I liked his old man Wayne from Batman Beyond. The continuity of his voice over the years is a pretty cool thing, and he's fantastic at it. His voice is what plays through my head when I read comics. I don't have negative feelings toward Weller, but this casting does nothing for me. My excitement meter, if anything, goes down a little, just due to wanting one of the above two. John Lithgow as DKR a live adaption, I totally see it. A lot of the poses we see Joker in, particularly during the "Late Night Show" parts, I think Lithgow would absolutely nail. His voice for animation...I'd give it a try, but I really like Lithgow

  • May 23, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Kevin Conroy & Mark Hamill

    by Donald Callahan

    are the only actors they should be looking at for these roles. WB drops the ball once again. Good to know Marvel still knows how to do their characters justice.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST


    by JAMF

    you know miller's stuff, particularly tdkr isnt even in continuity anyway, its an alternate version. i know year one and killing joke are pretty much canon, but still, tdkr isnt ruining your version of batman and certainly not superman. just read the superman books you like. personally i think the guys boring as fuck. (alan moore) supreme > (any) superman.

  • May 23, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Frank Miller has written the ONLY version of the DC universe I'm interested in.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    The only way I'd be interested in a Justice League movie is if it was modeled after what we saw in All-Star Batman and Robin.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    George Clooney

    by Axl Z

    "I'm the god-damn Batman!"

  • May 23, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Peter Weller. Good. Lance Henriksen? Perfect.

    by Julius Dithers

    I want to know who's voicing Old Man Oliver Queen a.k.a. Lefty.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Krpyton Kid

    by Sephiroid

    Go wear your superman pajamas, go to your room and let the grown-ups to talk, ok son?

  • Andrea Romano, if that was all your doing, my hats off to you, baby.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Kevin Conroy

    by Chadley BeBay


  • May 23, 2012, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Conroy as Batman?

    by niven

    The fact that people want Conroy as a 60 plus year old Batman in an ELSEWORLDS tale, shows you how little people on these talkbacks really know. Michael Ironside was perfect for this, but Weller will do fine....Conroy...jeez, fucking Aven-tards

  • May 23, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    As long as it's not The Dark Knight Returns 2, than I'm ok

    by Wcwlkr

    I couldn't have been more disappointed in a so called graphic novel. That thing was AWFUL by leaps and bounds & made absolutely no sense.

  • Its good, but I just dont see why its considered as awesome as everyone thinks it is. Plus, I didnt like the depiction of Superman as well. Aside from a Kryptonite bullet, Batman cannot defeat Superman. Its silly to think otherwise. But what do I know... But I agree with posters above...Conroy and Hamill are the true voices of Batman and any medium of the characters.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    by harry

    chadley bebay = Christian Bale

  • May 23, 2012, 1:24 p.m. CST

    M. Ironside or GTFO

    by Stalkeye

    Excellent as Darksied, great as TDKR's Bats. Accept no substitute.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    I'd like to see an animated "Killing Joke" movie

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Fav Bats story (or well, Joker) ever.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by Donald Callahan

    Batman is approximately 55 in TDKR, so how does that make the 57-year-old Conroy wrong for this? And Gotham by Gaslight is an Elseworlds tale. TDKR is canon.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    father callahan

    by don

    yeah, ultimate spider-man animated series would be proof of that statement! In case you are too simple to get this- I am being sarcastic.

  • FYI: Um....don't ever watch the Catwoman short with your daughter....

  • May 23, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Superman becoming a tool for the US Govt...

    by billydeewilliams

    Is it really hard to believe that Mr. Truth-Justice-the American Way, The alien who tries to fit into society so hard he disguises himself would become a tool for the President? That's GREAT writing in my book.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by Roketopunch

    Mark Hammil is the essential Joker VO.

  • Why??? Because they voiced the characters in "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker". In that story, we see Hamill's Joker DIE. "The Dark Knight Returns" takes place years after that incident, so it just wouldn't follow the canon of the animated series. This story doesn't fit in with the events of The Animated Series, and so it should be voiced by different actors.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Tim Curry

    by MattDomville

    ...for Joker. A bit full-circle, considering he was the original "Batman: TAS" Joker, but he looks just like this version.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Please give this a PG-13 or R rating...

    by Roketopunch

    and at least a limited release in the theater.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    See Clint as Dark Knight here!

    by Lee Howard I figured we'll never get to SEE it on screen, so I made this. God, it would be a cool movie.

  • May 23, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Who's playing Supes & Ollie?

    by obijuanmartinez

  • May 23, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Michael Ironside nailed it. Ironside >>> Weller

    by Just_Some_Guy

    The more I think about it, the more I think it should be Ironside. Is it too late for WB to change its mind?

  • May 23, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    So Robin is a red haired chick?

    by darkgrafix

  • May 23, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Krypton Kid

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Please go suck a dick. TDKR is a masterpiece that rightly deserves to be debated, but never dismissed. You however, are dismissed to your dicks.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by TakeItEasyMon

    TDKR Joker was pulling a serious Frank-N-Furter in the institution, it makes sense to me.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Superman going to be in this?

    by eric haislar

    Also these DC animation adaptions are never as good as the comic. I thought Year one was pretty bad considering the source material.

  • If anyone were to want the voice of Eastwood, but couldn't afford him, or dare ask him to (let's be honest...) lower himself to a direct to DVD cartoon movie, you only have to look at one of the voice talents in Rango to find your Clint Eastwood!

  • May 23, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST

    ceasar romero as the joker!!

    by vulturess

    and-and- he can keep the mustache.

  • After I painted Clint as Batman, I did this one of Glover as Joker. Also, cool side note, Tom Wilson aka Biff from Back to the Future saw this and said he thought it was awesome! Yay me.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    THE greatest piece of comics work ever made

    by Lone Fox

    They should teach TDKR in art colleges. Everything you need to know about creating comics can be found simply by reading the book. The use of panel size, shape, repeated images, composition, not to mention the writing... it's a frigging masterclass.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I want Michael Ironside.

    by hallmitchell

    Just to put some 80's bada$$ in there.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    That is awesome fucking news.

    by the Green Gargantua

  • May 23, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Someone with rocks stuck in their throat?

    by matthooper8

  • May 23, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    cohaagens_cornflakes, Overrated? You must be shitting me.

    by Stalkeye

    That's like saying The Watchmen was overrated. No one saw this coming; An aged Batman who decides to come out of retirement during an dystopian future, and not to mention how it help inspired the Iconic sci fi film known as Robocop. It was a great ride from beggining to end with impressive dialogue and fucked up scenarios like Joker appearing on a late night show only to kill the entire audience via laughing gas. Then there's the ending from the first chapter/issue whereas Batman takes on Two Face: Dent: "What do you see" Batman: "I see..a reflection". The neo noir and narrative style became an instant game changer within the comic medium. as many have often imitated Miller's style. Overrated? Not by a stretch.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    hanyoyo wants...

    by barry davis

    ...Raylan Givens as Batman?

  • May 23, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Clint Eastwood!

    by Orbots Commander

    That's the voice I heard in my head, back when I read Miller's graphic novel. Old Clint now sounds even *more* hoarse and gravelly.

  • May 23, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    @toughguy: Good call! Loved The Killing Joke!

    by obijuanmartinez

  • May 23, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    But I doubt Clint would do a straight to DVD voice over job.

    by Orbots Commander

    With his stature, the only vo work he would do would be for something higher profile, like a Pixar or Dreamworks animated theatrical release.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Was also hoping for Ironside


    He nailed it in the Legends of the Dark Knight episode of the animated series. Would've been great for him to voice the aging Batman again.

  • It was taking superheroes to a fascist extreme. There's some old mid-80s interview where Frank Miller said he wrote DKR as a send-off for superhero/cape comics, because he couldn't see it as a viable medium for storytelling anymore. Looking at the comics DC and Marvel put out these days, maybe Miller was right. DKR2 and All-Star Batman are trash. He certainly embraced his theory that there were no good stories left to tell with those characters.

  • to start Sandman, Hellblazer and Swampthing

  • May 23, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    THE KILLING JOKE is so incredible I don't think any adaptation could do it justice.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Really, that's one that ought to stay on the page where it is. Any attempt to animate it would rob it of much of its effect. THE KILLING JOKE is, hands-down, the most brutal and chilling Batman story I've ever read. This one truly haunted me as a kid, in a way no other Batbook ever did (and there was some pretty dark stuff going on in the early LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT stories coming out at about the same time). Brian Bolland's artwork is responsible for much of the book's effect. Never did Gotham City look like a darker and crueler place. Bolland's panels seem to stare right back at you with a terrifying placidity, terrifying because of the horrible things that are happening in every single one. And I don't mean just the explicit violence; the shooting of Barbara Gordon, the murder of the real-estate guy, the kidnapping and humiliation of Jim Gordon. Little things, like the dark rictus of a grin on the face of the Joker's wife as she laughs at him and tells him that at least he's good in the sack. The calm smiles on the mobsters' faces as they manipulate him. Barbara's POV as the Joker appears in the doorway before the shooting, then leers over her afterward. No other comic-book artist I've ever seen accomplished the kind of mood Bolland did in this book; not Jim Lee, not Miller, not anybody. The suggestion of Batman's insanity is probably the most-discussed theme of this book, but that wasn't the most frightening thing to me. The most frightening thing about THE KILLING JOKE was the simple, chilling tale of how an anonymous, everyday man trying to make a living and raise a family lost everything he had, was physically and mentally ruined, and became the Joker. It was an extreme reminder of how easily a life can be destroyed, and how every day in the real word they are destroyed, in a thousand different ways. God damn, I want to dig that thing out and read it all over again now. It's been almost 20 years. But it's stayed with me all that time.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST

    The Dark Knight Returns is TERRIBLE

    by expert_40

    It is the horrible, cynical ramblings of a coke & whore fiend who'd rather spend his time shitting on the values that make America great by turning the the icon of American values, Superman, into a government stooge, and one of the best American presidents, Reagan, into an almost Max Hedrom-like presence on TV. It's a hack-job that shits on America and shits on the credo of the Batman. While Batman Year One is competent work, the rock star status afforded Miller because of TDKReturns is unwarranted and unfortunate, because all of the fanboy love just reinforced and rewarded Miller's worst tendencies, inflating his ego into such a place that we're brought to "I'M THE GOD DAMNED BATMAN!" Miller is a psycho, his brain fried from too much coke, and he's given Batman much of his psychotic tendencies. Terrible. Just terrible. One of the worst Batman stories, and the absolute WORST of the 52 "worlds."

  • May 23, 2012, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Nordling forgot Superman is in this story, too?

    by Bill Clay

    Would have been nice to mention the small little detail of who is doing Superman's voice.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:35 p.m. CST

    I hope this doesn't suck

    by skelly

  • May 23, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Superheroes are a dead end, storytelling-wise...

    by Blue_Demon

    I can see why Miller wanted to go there. Once you grow up, you start asking questions and superheroes look pretty fucking silly. The comics companies compensate by adding sex and violence (did we really need to see Batman fuck Catwoman on the roof, recently? Really?) Ultimately, I think Superheroes are for children. And there's nothing wrong with that. To bring gritty realism to a genre where a grown man fights crime dressed as a bat just destroys the genre. How Alfred keeps from laughing his ass off at Bruce Wayne is beyond me. I love superheroes and their books...but when I come back to them, I come back to them on their original terms...good vs. evil...stuff like that. Y'know...the stuff "sophisticates" snicker at. I loved both TDKR and Watchmen. But that was it as far as superheroes were concerned. They capped it. Or as Miller once said, "After 9/11, do we really care if Batman fights the Joker. Again?"

  • May 23, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    theypeedonyourfuckingrug...good call...

    by Blue_Demon

    Bolland's artwork is creepy in the extreme. His people don't smile...they grin like sharks. to me, his work is like Stanley Kubrick's movies...I keep expecting something terrible to happen and it keeps me on edge. He reminds you how fragile life is...well said.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    The DKR Joker is David Bowie.

    by Monolith_Jones

  • In some ways I think it holds up better than Watchmen. Relax I love Watchmen and it is a masterpiece, and I'm not saying DKR is "better".

  • May 23, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Anmiating this is gets rid of Lynn Varley's beautiful colors.

    by Monolith_Jones

    It's a shame, they really add a lot to the book.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Animating, I meant of course. Also BATMAN DID NOT BEAT SUPERMAN!!!!

    by Monolith_Jones

    If you read the scene and not just look at the pictures you'd see that Superman is letting Batman win, he could have killed him at any time but we all know, as Batman did, that Superman would never do that.

  • May 23, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    You're not cynical enough, expert_40.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Or maybe I'm too cynical -- I'm a fan of Reagan too, but I also thought TDKR was a hilarious evisceration of American society, government, and culture. Ideals notwithstanding, we're pretty fucked up, and Miller played up that idea to the hilt. As someone else pointed out, TDKR has always been taken much more seriously than I think Miller actually intended. The best Batman stories to me have been the ones that put the character into as much of a real-world milieu as possible (the reason I love the Nolan films so much), but Frank Miller's universe is an extreme parody of the real world and works quite well on those terms. For what it's worth, I never took the "President Reagan" we see in TDKR to be an actual representation of Ronald Reagan. Just as the "David Letterman" talk-show host wasn't really supposed to be Letterman, the "Dr. Ruth" character wasn't really supposed to be Ruth Westheimer, and so on. They're figureheads, representations of the roles those people played at the time the book was written. "Reagan" put a face on the general idiocy and manipulativeness of government power, "Letterman" and "Dr. Ruth" represented the vapidity of popular culture, etc. (Notice that none of the "real-life" figures that appear in TDKR are ever called by name.)

  • May 23, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    You're not cynical enough, expert_40.

    by TheyPeedOnYourFuckingRug

    Or maybe I'm too cynical -- I'm a fan of Reagan too, but I also thought TDKR was a hilarious evisceration of American society, government, and culture. Ideals notwithstanding, we're pretty fucked up, and Miller played up that idea to the hilt. As someone else pointed out, TDKR has always been taken much more seriously than I think Miller actually intended. The best Batman stories to me have been the ones that put the character into as much of a real-world milieu as possible (the reason I love the Nolan films so much), but Frank Miller's universe is an extreme parody of the real world and works quite well on those terms. For what it's worth, I never took the "President Reagan" we see in TDKR to be an actual representation of Ronald Reagan. Just as the "David Letterman" talk-show host wasn't really supposed to be Letterman, the "Dr. Ruth" character wasn't really supposed to be Ruth Westheimer, and so on. They're figureheads, representations of the roles those people played at the time the book was written. "Reagan" put a face on the general idiocy and manipulativeness of government power, "Letterman" and "Dr. Ruth" represented the vapidity of popular culture, etc. (Notice that none of the "real-life" figures that appear in TDKR are ever called by name.)

  • May 23, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    @ expert_40

    by Lone Fox

    Reagan was one of the greatest US presidents? NOW who's fried on coke? As for shitting on Batman's credo, you entirely missed the point of the story. Miller stripped Batman down to his most basic roots, embraced the mythology, and reinvigorated a very tired character (ironic that he portrayed him as an old man). Hell, it was because Batman comic sales were in such a sorry state prior to TDKR that DC were willing to let Miller try something so radical. Hate to tell you, but Miller saved Batman.

  • May 23, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST


    by Yelsaeb

    That is all.

  • May 23, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Fanboys want Eastwood for every "dark" hero

    by twogunjames

    Wolverine. Batman. The Punisher. Cable. Wasn't his name even connected to playing Deathlok at some point?

  • May 23, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    kind of comes full circle

    by solitaire

    In kingdom come, which I figure they'll adapt eventually too, Alex Rodd designed old Bruces armor as a combination of Darth Vader and Robocop.

  • May 23, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Powers Boothe

    by solitaire

    Always the guy I saw if this went live action, perfect build, jaw and voice. And yeah, I gotta agree, Tim Curry as joker for the win

  • May 23, 2012, 4:52 p.m. CST

    The Killing Joke is better

    by Relentless85

    It's even darker than TDKR which I do love, but I just want an animated Killing Joke. They'd never adapt it into live action.

  • May 23, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    expert_40 RR a good President?

    by Kakii

    I can happily respect your opinion of DKR, even though I disagree. You didnt like it so fair play, but RR one of the US's best presidents? The guy was kinda cool and a bit out there, but come on he was Maggies bitch, the first time a US president has been sucking the UK's cock rather then most of our faggoty PM's sucking the US's. Dont take our only moment away with such blasphemy!

  • May 23, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Man, if they could get David Letterman to play David Endocrine

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    That would rule.

  • May 23, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    i knew this day would come..

    by Norman Colson

    after they adapted the year one arc into a movie, i knew it would come. But please, FUCKING PRETTY FUCKING PLEASE DEVELOP THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR INTO AN LIMITED ANIMATED SERIES HARD PG13 i would pay to see that. and make every episode stellar and still use the same animation from first flight!!!

  • May 23, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    This has Paul Verhoeven written all over it

    by Mugato5150

    The dystopian future newscasts just scream RoboCop and The Running Man. I hope they keep that aspect of the story.

  • May 23, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by expert_40

    ... leave your ideology on the table and be able to praise those worthy of praise. Reagan was one of the best American Presidents. FACT. Was he perfect? No. NONE of them are. Unlike the Wimp who is (unfortunately) from Georgia, he understood the threat of the Soviet Union and decided to do something about it. He bankrupted them by forcing them to choose between feeding their people and keeping their country solvent, or by pumping more and more money they didn't have into their military in the Arms Race. Reagan believed in the greatness of America and healed, finally, the wounds of Watergate. He, unlike the current person sitting in the Oval Office, gave the people of America HOPE. He made it okay to be a Vietnam Veteran, giving pride back to those men who went through that hell. He helped the nation heal after the Challenger tragedy. And the thing the left stupidly calls "Reaganomics" was actually a continuation of KENNEDY'S supply-side economic model, which cuts taxes on corporations so those entities can reinvest into R&D, into hiring the best and brightest minds, and into employing well-paid workers. And all of the technology we enjoy today? Thank Reagan, because if it were Carter or Mondale, all of that R&D work done in the 80's and 90's never would've happened. Do you think Microsoft or Apple would be Microsoft or Apple today if they didn't have all that money to reinvest into research & development? Reagan's strength was in believing in the individual American spirit, not in giving hand-outs to those who've done nothing to earn them. Like Lincoln, TR, Washington, Kennedy (yes, Kennedy, his stare-down with the USSR over Cuba DEMANDS he be on this list) and Jefferson, Reagan was one of the best Presidents we ever had.

  • May 23, 2012, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Was going to berate the krypton kid, but it has all been said.

    by the Green Gargantua

  • May 23, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    expert_40, very well said...

    by Blue_Demon

    If you read Kennedy's inaugural address you'll see some ideas that would make today's "Democrats" spit up blood.

  • May 23, 2012, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Also...regarding Miller's take on Reagan...

    by Blue_Demon

    theypeedonyourfuckingrug has a great analysis of it. I also believe that Miller's views have evolved since 1986. I'm sure he now sees the President - who dared call a spade a spade - and let the world know he thought the U.S.S.R. was an Evil Empire, was a great man.

  • I didn't know they're making this. It will be awesome.

  • May 23, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Weller as Miller's Bruce Wayne recaptures the zeitgeist

    by Nem_Wan

    TDKR and RoboCop have a lot in common, which was why they got Frank Miller to write the RoboCop sequels — what could go wrong, right? Well, plenty. But since the two universes seem forever spiritually linked, Weller's being involved in this film seems like destiny.

  • May 23, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I understand not going with Ironside

    by Phategod2

    In that episode of Batman:TAS that version of Batman was the result of a childs overactive imagination with a dash of Frank Miller. I assuming the animated movie will be way more toned down then that part of the episode.

  • May 23, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST

    and lonefox...

    by expert_40

    ... before you try and pigeonhole me using your antiquated idea of political ideology, while I don't like the current guy in the White House, I didn't really care for the guy that came before him. I would rank Presidents as either Great, Good, Average/Mediocre, or Failures. My great list is Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan. That's it, no other need apply. My incomplete good list is Adams (even though he only served one term), Maddison, Monroe, Wilson, Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Clinton, etc. My incomplete average/mediocre list includes both Bushes, Taft, Coolidge, Hoover, Quincy Adams, Harrison, Arthur, Cleveland, Ford, Garfield, etc. And then the abject failures, the absolute worst Presidents, who have NO redeeming qualities AS Presidents, are Andrew Johnson and Jimmy Carter. That's it. The two absolute worst Presidents ever. Unable to face the crisis facing them, the failed their test more than any other. Richard Nixon belongs on his own list, the Nixon List. He was on his way to being a good (maybe more) President, when his massive insecurity and paranoia (made worse by the fact that he KNEW Joe Kennedy stole the 1960 election from him by having the mob fix the Chicago vote where a record number of zombies (dead people) got out of their graves, tombs, and urns to vote) took over and ruined his so-far very good legacy, resigning in disgrace. I can't put him in the failure list, because his first four years were successful. But I can't put him on even the average/mediocre list. Right now Obama is squarely in the average/mediocre list. Anyway, as a Historian, that's how I see it, separated from such mundane qualifiers like political ideology.

  • May 23, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    -- "animated to boot"?

    by MooseMalloy

    Um, okay.

  • May 23, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    please tell me ....

    by PrimalScream78

    someone already said Clint Eastwood for Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond

  • May 23, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    What's Wrong with Clancy Brown?

    by Ted_Naifeh

    Back when I was a kid, Everyone wanted Clancy Brown, lately of Highlander, to play the Dark Knight. Now, of course, he's the go-to guy to play villains, usually voicing Lex Luthor for the DCAU, but was also tapped as the slightly punk-ass version of Mr. Freeze in "The Batman." (just about everything about The Batman was a bit punk-ass, though it manages to be a worthy show anyway.) But now the Dark Knight Returns movie is underway, and golly, I can't think of anyone I'd rather see in the roll. He has the perfect dangerous angry-old-Batman laugh. No disrespect to Conroy's amazing Batman laugh. He's still the ultimate all-around Batman. And no disrespect for Weller, whom I'm sure to make a stellar Batman. I'm just sayin'. It's been 20-something years, and I'd just love to finally see the ol' Kurgan as Batman.

  • May 23, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    I agree with Monolith Jones DKR's Joker = David Bowie

    by custer27

    an image is worth a thousand words: straight from the comic:,r:4,s:0,i:77

  • May 23, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Should have been Adam Jensen!!

    by Castor Grayson

    Elias something from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. That guy was born to play Bat! But I guess not "old Batman" so I'm just fanboying!

  • May 23, 2012, 10:04 p.m. CST


    by NZPoe

    As someone born and bred in the USofA, the beauty of the 1st Amendment (and enjoy that while it lasts) is that people get to shit on America all they want. And sometimes that's a really good thing, considering what a failure of an empire we've been since post-World-War-II. Batman is an interesting character because he's fantasy, not because what he does is 'right'. He's a commentary on the nature of evil and crime and the fact that we can't ever defeat it, though one high-functioning sociopath with trauma issues feels that his life is worth sacrificing so that he can hold back the tide for as long as he can. Miller is crazy, I do not contest that point, but he gets Batman right. Batman is a hero because he knows he's fighting a losing battle, but he's also a psycho because he's basically bat-shit crazy just as Miller portrays him. That's why people like him, but it doesn't make his actions right in the least. It just makes him fascinating because we know Batman can never, ever, win...and yet his attitude is still better than Superman's who has decided that Orwellian control is the only way to make the world a better place.

  • May 23, 2012, 10:09 p.m. CST


    by NZPoe

    Clancy Brown = brilliant idea. He's fantastic as Lex and he could do a pretty interesting spin on Bats, especially since he's an accomplished voice-actor. I'm not a fan of celebrity-voice-stars because of their actual inexperience in the voice-booth compared to actual voice-artists. You can always hear it in the DC and Marvel films how short the celebrity stars fall compared to the trained and experienced voice-actors.

  • May 23, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by Mark

    The scene where Superman holds the arrow (DKR) and it explodes seems an awful like Loki in the Avengers. When I read the first issue of the DKR returns it was truly amazing. the lightning bolt across the pages as the storm approached felt as if a lightning bolt just went off outside, but better. Part II of DKR the one where they to me make an "apology" for superman's actions makes sense but feels out of place with the original story set. I grew up with Christopher Reeve playing superman, and to see this version portrayed by Frank Miller maddened me to an extreme level. Fan boy or not Superman was my hero, ( he was adopted so was I) no superpowers though on my part, but you get the point for a young kid. I think Mr. Miller was just trying to answer the question we always fought about as kids, who would win that fight. That book really influenced the future relationship of Batman and Superman in most if not all comics. It made it a more dynamic relationship but after so many years of the smiling Superhero's I guess it was time for the pendulum to swing a different way. That being said JLU has to me the Best dynamic of Superman and Batman on TV. I think the closest they ever got in my experience to Superman winning that fight was when he and batman "switched" powers.

  • May 23, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    Miller may be nuts now but his Daredevil run is still amazing

    by textual

    He seemed to have a lot more nuance back then. In everything he does now, he just recycles Sin City and mixes it with his personal conspiracy theories and swastika fetish.

  • May 23, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST


    by Relentless85

    They wouldn't do Killing Joke. It's too macabre. With the violence in the Burton and Nolan films you're detached, everything happens at a distance. They wouldn't show Barbara Gordon being shot, stripped and then photographed or the Joker torturing Jim trying to drive him insane. Also the Killing Joke makes the Joker far more human than he's been shown before really not counting Caesar Romero's portrayal. Plus it's a Joker story more than a Batman one.

  • May 23, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    My man Bats don't shiv!

    by Zardoz


  • May 23, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    dark knight light...

    by The Krypton Kid

    get bent, you brain dead moron. You're too stupid to realize that Dark Knight Returns is the same continuity as "THE GODD@#N BATMAN!!!" But maybe you're willfully blind, just like many of the mental deficients who blindly love everything Batman and believe he is a relatable, believable character despite anything but.

  • May 23, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Having just watched year one i have doubts

    by rakesh patel

    watch year one, it didn't feel like the comic, it just felt plodding and slow. I read year one on its original run, i can still remember some of the lines and although beautifully rendered, the movie just seemed dull by comparison. I really don't want to be like one of those "the book is better" people.. but in this case.. it really is. Cranston does a really great performance in this as Gordon. everyone else is kinda forgettable.

  • May 24, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Michael Ironside, it was a no brainer, FUCK!!!

    by bloodawn5

    Why they didnt give the role to him,he was perfect!!!

  • May 24, 2012, 12:49 a.m. CST

    TDKR is the best. Miller really outdid himself with it

    by Chain

    and I dismiss all the haters. Most of them are Republicans with a Reagan fetish who cry anytime someone doesn't worship him. The rest are either Superman fanboys or Marvel fanboys who are just jealous. Miller brought fresh takes to all the characters and gave them great depth. Not only was it great reading but the stylized art and great use of panels were also a breath of fresh air. Best comic books I ever read.

  • he was so great in Odyssey 5 - if you haven't seen it - get it NOW - the man is fucking brilliant. He was great on his episode of Fringe as well - I mean really great.

  • May 24, 2012, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Fuck Reagan. He was just awful.

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Just release one long movie, which outside the dc world, would be one normal length movie anyway... Instead we get to wait for months to complete the story, and pay twice the cash... Thanks a ton DC and Warner's! Only info I can find says part one is end of this year, part two is early next.... Ugh, screw this....

  • May 24, 2012, 2:51 a.m. CST

    It is about time. . .

    by gregg benac

    We got Peter Weller playing Batman. Back in the day, i wished Mr. Weller had played Beetlejuice just so Tim Burton would have cast him as Batman. At the time he would have been perfect in the role instead of "mr. i have'nt worked out a day in my life so i'm perfect for Batman". It just bothered me is all i'm saying.

  • May 24, 2012, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Kevin Conroy: Best Batman Ever.

    by CuervoJones

  • May 24, 2012, 2:58 a.m. CST

    The Killing Joke > TDKR

    by CuervoJones

  • May 24, 2012, 5:05 a.m. CST

    yeah, Reagan was great.

    by Mugato5150

    At least Miller didn't have him arming terrorists because that would be over the top.

  • May 24, 2012, 6:54 a.m. CST

    I wish they would do a Michael Keaton toon Batman

    by Dazzler69

    that is all.

  • May 24, 2012, 7:08 a.m. CST

    The Killing Joke is really good but hasn't aged perfectly for me

    by Monolith_Jones

    Its just a bit too cruel for my tastes as I grow older. Besides a few transitions that are too clever it's masterfully executed though.

  • May 24, 2012, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Ron Perlman as Batman, and Bruce Campbell as Superman.

    by Tim Hamblen

    Nuff said.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    The perfect old Battle worn Batman voice=Stacy Keach

    by smddoc

    Nuff Said!

  • May 24, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Pretty good thread. Lots of points to touch on.

    by Anthrax

    - I can understand the clamoring for Kevin Conroy; we all love the guy, and most of us grew up on his portrayal of the Bat. I'm perfectly fine with other actors being cast in the titular role, though. Jeremy Sisto absolutely knocked the Batman part out of the park in The New Frontier, and Greenwood was/is serviceable in the role. Peter Weller? That's inspired casting, and I'm in love with the fact that we're going to get a Buckaroo Banzai reunion here with him and Lithgow. That's going to be a lot of fun. - Some interesting comments about The Dark Knight book itself. I might as well throw my two cents out there. To me, all of Frank Miller's Batman work is more of a wide reaching satire than anything else. The Dark Knight Returns is actually quite funny. I'm constantly surprised by how seriously it's taken. The one thing I'm worried about with this animated film is that Miller's humor will get lost in translation. - To those clamoring to see The Killing Joke adapted to the screen in any format: I... I just don't get it. I think that book is awful. It's not dark at all, it's nasty, mean spirited, and cruel simply for the sake of being so. Almost single handedly ruined the Joker forever. Even Allan Moore wishes he had never written the thing. Most overrated Bat story of all time? In my opinion, yes.

  • May 24, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Oh, and to the Krypton Kid...

    by Anthrax

    You keep going on and on about how fans of Batman are somehow less intelligent for liking the character or finding him relatable in some way, yet you post with a screen name that's a tribute to a character that has, historically, been the least relatable character in comic book history. In short, you're making yourself look foolish. If you want to take on the Bat fans, at least find a better soap box to stand and shout from.

  • May 24, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Good post anthrax but the most overrated Batman story?

    by Monolith_Jones

    The Long Halloween. Terrible book that gets mentioned along Year One and DKR as one of the best

  • May 24, 2012, 1:09 p.m. CST

    I just don't get it.

    by Geekhaterssuck

    Never been a huge fan. I mean it's not a horrible comic, but I've never gotten the huge love it receives. I would love to see them do a 2 part split of The Long Halloween. There are tons of great stories that could be adapted that would be better than the overrated Dark Knight Returns. The Man Who Laughs, Holy Terror (Great Elseworlds Story), A Serious House on a Serious Earth. I would love to see also like a Nightwing Year One deal. I don't know, I know Dark Knight Returns is more popular overall than any of these, but for me, just don't get all the love.

  • May 24, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST


    by Geekhaterssuck

    Great points you make, especially about Killing Joke, when I was 14 I loved it because hey, you saw Batgirl nekkid, but over time, well they overall story has it's moments, but the ending, yeesh, horrible, and I don't see as the defining version of the Joker that some do. I am right there with you as well as far as other actors in the role of Batman. Loved Jeremy Sisto in the New Frontier (Still probably the best of the DC Animated outings in my opinion) and Bruce Greenwood was very good in Red Hood, and continues to do good work in Young Justice. Dark Knight returns is just ok for me, and I doubt an animated version will do much to add to the comic. Just my opinion of course. I can understand why they are doing it, but I can't get too enthusiastic about it.

  • May 24, 2012, 2 p.m. CST

    Two words: Nick. Nolte.

    by brad meyers

    Goddam Robin these are goddamn rubber bullets I goddamn swear

  • May 24, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Thoughts on why no Kevin Conroy

    by kusanagiguy

    I see a lot of people posting about why he's not doing the voice but I think theres actually a reason. With all the animated DC movies you'll notice Conroy only does a select few. These films and stories are able to fit within the universe that Conroy has voiced Batman for. The others have elements from the comic books that jar with the continuity of the animated tv shows. Conroy did not voice Batman in Under the Red Hood as Jason Todd does not exist in that universe, New Frontier is an elseworlds story so the same here. Year One is a different origin to that of Conroys Batman When it comes to the Dark Knight returns this is a future tale near the end of Batmans career. Conroys has already voiced a future version of Batman in Batman of the Future/Batman Beyond. I agree that Conroy is the defintive voice for animated Batman but I get why hwe isnt the voice in this version

  • May 24, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by Geekhaterssuck

    Perfect reasoning as to why no Conroy. Then again, a retort to that would be the Arkham Asylum video games, but you start using all that, it just gets to be a tangled mess of continuity, and fanboy logic, and all that, but I do see your overall point. I have no problem with not using Conroy. I mean come on they even used a different voice for Batman on the cartoon when they did that strange episode where Michael Ironside voiced him in that TDKR little homage. I grew up on Conroy so I get the love, he was a great Batman probably the best, but you can't expect him to be used in every single freaking adaptation of the character. Weller is probably as good a choice as any for an older Batman. We'll see.

  • May 24, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    The perfect TDKR joker...

    by Jon Forbing

    I'm surprised no one has said it (pardon me if you did, I scrolled through all the comments, but didn't click all of them). Miller's Joker was pretty obviously inspired (at least partially) by Tim Curry. Look at his face! It's freaky once someone points it out to you. Anyway, Curry's obviously too old to play him in a live-action production, but his voice is still perfect.

  • May 24, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Hmmm... The Long Halloween...

    by Anthrax

    Y'know, as much as I love the Loeb/Sale duo, that book doesn't do a whole lot for me, either. There are some rather large chunks of it that I adore, but for the most part it's this big, slow, clunky story with no real plot (this could actually describe Long Halloween's sequels as well.) It very much feels like a four to six issue arc that was stretched to fit the Maxi-Series format. Maybe the most disappointing thing about it though, is how poorly Loeb handled Catwoman. She's essentially knocked back into the 60's, once again becoming mere window dressing. Loeb got it quite right with regards to the other villains, though, Two-Face in particular, and I find it almost impossible to dislike Sale's vision of Batman and the world he inhabits. Ultimately, though, I think I'd have to agree and at least put it up there with The Killing Joke as among the most overrated Batman books. @GeekHatersSuck: I'm in total agreement about The New Frontier. Maybe it's because I'm just about the biggest Darwyn Cooke Stan there is, but I think that movie is a beautiful little gem, very much like the books from which it was adapted. Dark Knight Returns isn't my favorite, either. I certainly don't hate it, though, and my enthusiasm for this animated venture has increased about a million-fold with the participation of Mr. Weller. Love that guy. This might sound odd coming off of what I said at the beginning of this post, but I actually think Long Halloween could make for a good animated feature. I think the nature of these direct-to-dvd movies would force the writers and producers to cut out all of the fat and really focus the narrative, which would benefit the story exponentially.

  • The painted colors on DKR does much to set the tone but also to set the book apart from a "regular" book. I wish they would invest he tone snd money and REALLY nail the visual style of the book. This is where I see CGI's wasted potential.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Perfect Joker voice:

    by Roffstafarian

    John Malkovich. Just imagine that voice saying so matter of fact "I'm going to kill everyone in this room." And I mean a perfect DKR Joker, Miller made Mr. J very still and very quiet.