It's the latest release from Warner Premiere, which produces animated features based on familiar comic book stories for Blu-ray and DVD. Last year, the big release was Batman: Year One, adapting Miller and David Mazzucchelli's also crazy-influential origin story. With that under its belt, Warner Premiere is taking on the big kahuna, the comic that helped usher in our current age of dark, psychologically troubled superheroes.
In order to do The Dark Knight Returns properly, the story is divided into two films. As you can see from this trailer, which debuted at MTV, the first movie is focused on Bats coming out of retirement and throwing down against the Mutant gang. All that business with the Joker and Superman is going to have to wait until Part 2.
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Bruce Timm, whose tenure with Bats goes all the way back to Batman: The Animated Series, is an executive producer here. The script is written by Bob Goodman and directorial duties fall to Jay Oliva, a veteran storyboard artist who co-directed Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Though this might seem a perfect fit for Kevin Conroy, it is instead erstwhile RoboCop Peter Weller providing the vocal gravitas as the voice of this older, meaner Bruce Wayne. Also in the voice cast are Ariel Winters as Carrie Kelly, David Selby as James Gordon, Michael McKean as Dr. Wolper, and Wade Williams as Harvey Dent.
On the off chance that you're unfamiliar with the story, here's an official synopsis (also, go read it):
...it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.
The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new...and old.
The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, download and VOD this September 25th, followed by Part 2 on an as-yet unspecified date in 2013.