For nerds of a certain age, the 1966 Batman Television show was their first indoctrination into Batman (myself included). It’s hard to devolve Batman as we know him today – a hard-bitten brooding bad-ass – by thinking back to a time when he (and Robin) were a trippy 1960’s fever dream. The William Dozier TV show was wrought with pop-art set pieces, telegraphed punches, ambiguous villains, satirical overtones, dutch angle camera setups, curiously tight-fitting costumes and the occasional dance number (anyone remember the Batusi?).
The show was short lived and it had a big comeback the last few years in popularity. The license was finally made available for merchandising, so not only did the episodes come out on Blu-ray, but toys, collectibles and a comic series were released.
And now, at a recent convention, actors Adam West and Burt Ward revealed they’ll be lending their voices to a full length, animated Batman 1966 movie scheduled for release on the show’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
The news was broken at the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina via Consequence of Sound:
There are no more details beyond what’s said in the video. One has to wonder if this will be an animated version of the recent “Batman 66 Meets The Green Hornet” series written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, or something new entirely.
Looking back, it’s easy to call 1966 Batman campy and lame. Because, well, it was. But, that was part of its charm! Some may say it isn’t the best of anything to do with Batman – most fans who remember it, seemingly choose to negate its existence for latter-day criticism. However, it stands an important part of Batman lore and demands respect as a cultural cornerstone. For its time, it was a fun, imaginative and immensely accessible show – appealing to the young and old. To this day everyone – even those who aren’t Bat-literate – knows the “Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman!” jingle. And gosh darn-it if George Barris-designed Batmobile wasn’t the coolest thing on four wheels? If it weren’t for this show, we might not have the Batman we have today. The Chris Nolan Batman trilogy, The Tim Burton movies, Batman the Animated Series, Frank Miller‘s Dark Knight Returns… these acclaimed creatives might not have gone on to make the best of Batman had it not been for Batman 66.
Would you watch an animated Batman 1966 movie? Do you think fans will be interested in it?