Okay, check out this voice cast for DC’s upcoming animated version of “Batman: Year One”. We’ve got Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Katee Sackhof, and Alex Rocco bringing Frank Miller’s classic graphic novel about Bruce Wayne’s first days in the Bat costume to life. For years comic fans (or maybe just myself) wondered why the big two companies never produced animated versions of some of their classic storylines, and then DC finally started hammering away at it a few years ago, often with impressive results. Their last go at a solo Batman story, an adaptation of “Batman: Under the Red Hood” was especially adult and cool, and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with now that they’ve got their hands on some Miller work. Classic Miller, mind you; back when he was gritty but not totally bat-shit crazy.
Cranston is taking on the role of Jim Gordon, back when he was Lieutenant and not yet commissioner, McKenzie is our youthful Bats, Dushku will slink it up as Catwoman, Rocco is gangster Carmine Falcone, and Sackhof rounds things out as Gordon’s naughty little mistress Det. Sarah Essen. There doesn’t yet seem to be any word on who will be supplying the voice of Harvey Dent, which is strange because he is a big part of the story and forms a pretty awesome triumvirate of crime fighting tough guys with Gordon and Batman.
The movie’s executive producer and DC animation Demi-God Bruce Timm said this of adapting the story, “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.” That sounds good to me; I can’t wait to see cartoon prostitutes, pimps, dominatrix, and drug pushers. This one is going to be PG-13, so put the kiddies to bed (or let them stay up and watch it if you’re an awesome parent). Current poster boy for all things awesome, Bryan Cranston, had this to say of his experience working on a cartoon, “I wasn’t aware of this level of storytelling in animation. I confess that freely. They didn’t give the characters the short shrift. I was stunned.” Sounds great to me. I’m going to go get my copy of the book out to bone up before the release.