Peter Weller To Voice Batman in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” Animated Series

Warner Bros. has chosen the voice cast for its animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s 1986 Batman story The Dark Knight Returns, from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video.

Peter Weller (Robocop) will star as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Ariel Winter (Modern Family) will voice Robin.

Bruce Timm, executive producer for DC’s animated movies, said Weller has “the proper weight to his voice. He definitely brings all of the world-weariness of the character and inner core of optimist covered in a cynical shell.”

The show’s creators are splitting the adaptation of the four-part graphic novel into two animated features called Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 and Part 2.  The first of the two films will be released in the fall, and Part 2 will be released in early 2013. Wade Williams (Prison Break) will voice Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean will voice Dr. Wolper, the psychiatrist who releases the Joker from Arkham Asylum.

David Selby, who starred in the original Dark Shadows soap opera, has also joined the cast.

Jay Olivia, who storyboarded Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel, will lead the project. Bob Goodman, a writer for Syfy’s Warehouse 13, penned the script. The graphic novel miniseries was praised for its mature and psychological take on superheroes, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It set a violent and realistic tone in superhero comics and served as a big influence on Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie trilogy, the last of which opens July 20,” THR reported.

Read the official summary below:

“If any comic has a claim to have truly reinvigorated the genre, then The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller–known also for his excellent Sin City series and his superb rendering of the blind superhero Daredevil–is probably the top contender. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself a tough task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children’s cartoon character into a hero for our times. The great Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Swamp Thing, the arguably peerless Watchmen) argued that only someone of Miller’s stature could have done this. Batman is a character known well beyond the confines of the comic world (as are his retinue) and so reinventing him, while keeping his limiting core essentials intact, was a huge task.Miller went far beyond the call of duty. The Dark Knight is a success on every level. Firstly it does keep the core elements of the Batman myth intact, with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon, and the old roster of villains, present yet brilliantly subverted. Secondly the artwork is fantastic–detailed, sometimes claustrophobic, psychotic. Lastly it’s a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, street gangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham? It is 10 years since the last recorded sighting of the Batman. And things have got worse than ever. Bruce Wayne is close to being a broken man but something is keeping him sane: the need to see change and the belief that he can orchestrate some of that change. Batman is back. The Dark Knight has returned. Awesome. –Mark Thwaite”

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