Adam West Says Facing William Shatner in Animated Batman Film is Clash of Idols

by Lucas Siegel

It's the stuff geek dreams are made of: after a triumphant return to the world of Batman in the animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar are sticking with it, returning for another animated adventure in the vein of Batman, the popular 60s TV series that made Batman (and the Batusi) a household name. For the sequel, announced at New York Comic Con's World Premiere of Caped Crusaders, the villain will be Two-Face, who never actually made it on the 60s show. He almost was - in a story written by science fiction legend Harlan Ellison; that "lost episode" was later adapted as a comic book to give fans an idea of how the series planned to use the villain. Voicing him in this new movie, his first appearance in that style on screen, is none other than William Shatner.

"Two idols clash!" Adam West told Comicbook.com enthusiastically during an interview when bringing up Shatner. Indeed, the two heroes (and let's face it, hearthrobs) of geek culture in the 60s are a clash of idols. They were also both known for their deliberate line delivery, something West also recognizes. The actor said his version of that cadence came about purely for story reasons.

"That's kind of interesting. I didn't think of that, but you're right," he said of the similar style of line delivery from the two legends. "I mean, I developed kind of a rhythm or a cadence for Batman that included a lot of musing, and thinking, and then suddenly getting an answer somehow. 'Oh, let's check that scope again... There it is, Robin!' That kind of thing, which I sort of felt the kids ... When you go out and play Batman as a kid, you sort of talk that way. Sort of enthusiastic, and with the rhythms being different."

Indeed, West's line delivery was based on the idea of kids imagining themselves as Batman, coming up with the next line and next adventure on the fly.

"It's fun to play Batman, especially with Shatner. He's got a good sense of humor, and we're on the same level," West said. He's already recorded his lines for the sequel, but they had to record separately. "I just didn't want to be influenced with his crazy rhythms," West joked.

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Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is available now on Digital HD, and will be coming to Blu-ray on November 1, 2016. The sequel, featuring Shatner as Two-Face and West reprising his role as Batman, will arrive in 2017. You can also watch the original Batman TV series now available on Blu-ray and DVD, and catch the original full-length feature on Netflix.

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