With its home video release just around the corner on January 29, 2013, details have emerged from Warner Brothers about the upcoming second installment of the DC Universe animated epic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
Based on the Frank Miller comic book miniseries of the same name, The Dark Knight Returns follows Batman as he comes out of retirement after years away and finds Gotham a more brutal and fractured place than ever. In the second half of the story, he's facing down The Joker, who has emerged from retirement for one last game of chess with his old opponent.
Many of the themes of this half of the story are the same ones you can see coming through in the currently-ongoing "Death of the Family" storyline in the Batman family of comics from DC Entertainment. The fact that Batman and The Joker are two sides of the same coin and that one cannot fully function without the other is a central theme in that story, and the premise of The Joker's return to crime in The Dark Knight Returns.
You can check out the full details below; the film will be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download January 29. In the meantime, you can read our review of the first installment.
Batman must battle old friends and foes on two fronts in the epic animated conclusion to Frank Miller’s masterpiece in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives January 29, 2013 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), On Demand and for Digital Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™*.
With Gotham City back under his watchful eye, and accompanied by able sidekick Robin, Batman continues to battle crime – but his resurgence awakens a far worse evil at Arkham Asylum: The Joker. In the meantime, Superman has been dispatched by the President to halt Batman’s unsanctioned reign by whatever means necessary. Between the Joker’s diabolical scheme to drag Batman to the darkest levels of insanity, and the Man of Steel’s seemingly invincible physical presence, the Dark Knight must confront adversaries and allies simultaneously while maintaining the peace in Gotham City.
Primetime television stars Michael Emerson (Person of Interest, Lost) and Mark Valley (Human Target, Fringe) join the voice cast as The Joker and Superman, respectively; and popular talk show host Conan O’Brien gives voice to animated talk show host Dave Endochrine. Fanboy favorite Peter Weller (RoboCop, Dexter) continues as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and he is once again accompanied by David Selby (The Social Network, Dark Shadows) as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Carrie/Robin, and Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap) as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper. Also featured in the voice cast is Maria Canals-Barrrera (Wizards of Waverly Place) as new Commissioner Yindel, Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) as Lana Lang, and Radio Hall of Fame member Michael Jackson as Alfred.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 is directed by Jay Oliva (Man of Steel, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights) from a screenplay by Bob Goodman (Warehouse 13). Sam Register (Young Justice, Teen Titans, Ben 10), Bruce Timm (Justice League: Doom), Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight Rises) and Benjamin Melnicker (The Dark Knight Rises) are executive producers.
“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 is epic animated filmmaking at its finest Crafted by an impressive team of filmmakers and voice talent alike it’s the perfect complement to the initial installment,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Home Video Vice President, Family & Animation and Partner Brands Marketing. “Just when you thought the story couldn’t become any more intense, the Joker and Superman arrive to up the ante – and Michael Emerson’s approach to the Joker is particularly chilling. This is a film no fan can do without.”
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 Blu-ray™ Combo Pack has more than 2 hours of exciting content, including: • Standard and high definition versions of the feature film • UltraViolet™* • Sneak Peek at Superman: Unbound, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie • Featurette – “The Joker: Laughing in the Face of Death” – An all-new featurette. A fitting tribute to the Joker, giving perspective as to why this engrossing character is the true arch nemesis of Batman. • Documentary – “Superman vs. Batman: When Heroes Collide” – An all-new documentary. Batman and Superman have a long history of friendship and conflict. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns brought an end to that conflict. This is the story behind that battle. • Featurette – “From Sketch to Screen” – An all-new featurette. Director Jay Oliva gives a fascinating animatic breakdown of five of his favorite moments from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. • Look Back – Sneak Peek at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 • Two bonus episodes from Batman: The Animated Series (“The Last Laugh” and “The Man Who Killed Batman”) and an episode from The New Batman Adventures (“Legends of the Dark Knight”), all handpicked by producer Alan Burnett. • Digital Comic – Excerpt from the graphic novel The Dark Knight Falls by Frank Miller.
* Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 UltraViolet offer is a limited time offer. Restrictions and limitations apply. Go to ultraviolet.flixster.com/info for details.