Something we can all agree on? Less Affleck Batman, more Batman Ninja [Updated]


Further Reading

Justice League review: Who will avenge these shortchanged heroes?Fellow Batman fans, are you bummed after the critical flop that was last month’s Justice League movie? Tired of Ben Affleck taking to the press to waffle again and again on whether he’ll do a standalone caped crusader flick? Well, this week, the animation arm of DC threw us all a frickin’ bone.

Coming in 2018, Batman Ninja is set to be the first theatrically released, full-length anime film in the Dark Knight’s repertoire. Well, theatrically released in Japan, that is. But a new English-subtitled version of the trailer released Friday hints that some kind of North American release (be it in theaters, VOD, Blu-ray, or via streaming service) will eventually come, saving us all from Affleck angst.

Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) handled the character design, and the first glimpse of the Joker should make any Gotham fan ecstatic. The trailer offers quick looks at the whole gang being transported back to feudal Japan: Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Robin, and Gorilla Grodd(?!) among them.

As io9 reports, that purple flash toward the beginning of the trailer is some kind of time portal. Batman and some of Gotham’s most notorious criminals get transported back to Medieval Japan and a power struggle ensues. “Director Jumpei Mizusaki has described Batman Ninja as a film meant to show the world how Japan sees Batman,” io9’s Charlie Pulliam-Moore writes. “Not one about how Batman (and Bruce Wayne) see Japan.”

Based on the teaser, at least, that means Batman is quite comfortable wielding a sword and the Joker may have some kind of giant mech at his disposal. Whatever unfolds, it already appears to be more exciting than however Affleck may (or may not) follow up the Dark Knight trilogy.

Update (2/14/18): Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has finally released an English-language version of the Batman Ninja trailer. Embedded above, the new teaser includes some of the same footage as the Japanese trailer shared in December, but it features the English voice cast. Among the highlights, Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) stars as the Joker, Will Friedle (Eric on Boy Meets World) serves as Red Robin, and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) voices the Penguin.

In addition to the new audio, Warner Bros. also had release date news: Batman Ninja will be released digitally on April 24 and on Blu-ray on May 8.

Listing image by WB / DC Animation

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