A year ago this month the comic book and cartoon world lost a phenomenal man in Dwayne McDuffie. If you don’t know who he is, Google him. You’ll be astounded by the amount of projects he was involved with that you’ve undoubtedly either read or watched. To say his absence has left a ginormous gaping hole in DC’s creative talent is an understatement.
Yesterday saw the release of the latest DC Animated Film, Justice League: DOOM, with a screenplay written by McDuffie, his last project before his death. DOOM is also a reunion for a majority of the vocal cast from the celebrated Justice League cartoon, making this film of great importance to those kids raised with DC’s cartoons of the 90s and early 2000s. Meaning, me. Did DOOM live up to my dreams of being the ultimate Justice League team-up? Sort of. DOOM is action-packed with great humorous moments but it never fully explores the complex relationships between the League’s most famous members. There’s no deeper meanings here, just one hell of a fun adventure.
One of the few panels I managed to fight the crowds and actually attend at New York Comic Con was the DC Universe Animated Original Movies panel. If you’ve perused Nerd Bastards once or twice before you’re aware I’m a diehard, DC fangirl with a serious cartoon obsession. This panel was of high priority. Along with the screening of the Catwoman short feature, panelists Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano shared the first trailer for the next animated feature, Justice League: Doom. I wasn’t going to risk recording the trailer at the panel, like many of my fellow convention-goers, because one, let’s be honest, the quality would be shit and two, I knew it’d hit the web fairly soon.
What do you know? Here it is, the first peak at Justice League: Doom,
Doom is loosely based on the JLA storyline by Mark Waid, “Tower of Babylon.” In the series Batman has collected necessary information on how to eliminate every member of the Justice League were they ever to go rogue. Batman, the ultimate Boy Scout, who knew? Unfortunately, he didn’t secure this information well enough and it’s stolen. The Legion of Doom is formed to enact these “destroy the Justice League” protocols and all hell breaks loose! If you’re a fan of big ensemble superhero stories, like Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths or just about every Justice League/JLU season finale, Doom sounds like it’ll be right up your alley.
Justice League: Doom was the last screenplay written by the late Dwayne McDuffie and it’s directed by Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern: First Flight, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse). This flick will also have one AMAZING voice cast, let’s run down the list shall we? Tim Daly as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman, Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern, Michael Rosenbaum as The Flash (note, this is the Barry Allen Flash, not Wally West who Rosenbaum voiced JL/JLU), Carl Lumbly as Martian Manhunter, Bumper Robinson as Cyborg, Olivia d’Abo as Star Sapphire, Claudia Black as Cheetah, Alex Denisof as Mirror Master, Phil Morris as Vandal Savage, Paul Blacthorne as Metallo, Carlos Alazraqui as Bane, Grey DeLisle as Queen of the Royal Flush Gang and David Kauffman as Jimmy Olson.
Wow, right? Justice League: Doom will release early 2012, and yes, you should fully expect a review from me in the future.
I’m still hoping for a screening of Batman: Year One at New York Comic Con this year, but I might just need to content myself with waiting for DVD/Blu-ray release on October 18th. You might note the 18th is the same day Batman: Arkham City releases, which leads me to pose the question can one day contain too much Batman? Of course, the answer is no, there can never be enough Batman, but how I will I manage to watch Year One and play enough Arkham City in one day! It’ll be tough, but I’ll manage. Even if I’m suffering from con crud and exhaustion post-NYCC.
With the release of Year One in less than two weeks, Warner Bros. Animation has released another tantalizing clip. In this one Batman takes on the GCPD, and he handles them easily enough. As can be expected.
No matter how many bullets they fire they can’t hit him, who are they, Stormtroopers?! Love him saving the cat, it’s a nice little touch, particularly when the rescued feline runs out to Selina. And what a badass taking out the bullet-ridden pillar with one kick. This film has the potential to be one of DC and Warner Bros.’ best.
If you can’t wait until Batman Day, the 18th, Year One will be available for download exclusively on iTunes, Xbox Live, Zune, VUDU HD Movies and Video Unlimited on the PlayStation Network & Sony Entertainment Network. Which I think I’ll be trying out and I reccomend it if you’ll be tied up with Arkham City for most of the 18th.
Batman: Year One is based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham.
The movie starred the voices of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) and Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone.
Bruce Timm is executive producer of the film. Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) and Sam Liu (All-Star Superman) directed from a script penned by Academy Award nominee Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse).
Today, The Hollywood Reporter had the exclusive scoop on the voice casting for Warner Bros. and DC‘s 12th animated feature, Batman: Year One. The super successful string of animated films have stretched from movies set in their animated series’ universes to features of a more adult nature, like Batman: Gotham Knight and Under the Red Hood. This adaptation of Batman: Year One will suffer the most critiquing since Year One was, and is, such a ground breaking comic. Frank Miller‘s re-telling of the Dark Knight’s origins set the tone for Batman’s stories for years to come. So how’s the cast shaping up? Pretty damn good.
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcom in the Middle), whose star is seriously lighting up right now, has been cast as Commissioner Gordon; Ben McKenzie (Southland) is Bruce Wayne/Batman; Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Tru Calling) will be Catwoman and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galatica) is Sarah Essen, Gordon’s love interest.
Batman: Year One will be directed by Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu; Tab Murphy penned the script. Bruce Timm is returning as executive producer and mentiones the faithfulness of the adaptation,
The source material is surprisingly cinematic; it’s a pretty straight forward literal retelling. Mazzucchelli’s artwork is beautifully composed and we were able to refer to the comic for about 80 percent of the camera setups.
A young Bruce Wayne has spent his adolescence and early adulthood, traveling the world so he could hone his body and mind into the perfect fighting and investigative machine. But now as he returns to Gotham City, he must find a way to focus his passion and bring justice to his city. Retracing Batman’s first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante, we watch as he chooses a guise of a giant bat, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon, inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a corrupt political system that infests Gotham.
I remember absolutely loving the building of Gordon’s and Batman’s relationship, it’s a pinnacle theme of the book. I’m positive Cranston will be incredible as Gordon, and Sackhoff and Dushku as these two tough women, this could be real good. McKenzie is the only one I’m unsure of, I just not familiar enough with his work. Do you guys have confidence in what he can bring to the Dark Knight?
Also, make to sure to click the jump for a larger version of the exclusive image above as well as another hi-res screen shot from the animated feature. Batman: Year One is rated PG-13 and is set to release this fall. In July at Comic-Con expect to see the world premiere.