Adam West and Burt Ward Are Back in the ‘Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders’ Trailer
This is the Batman movie we need right now, but not the one we deserve.
It’s called Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, and it starts the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward reprising their roles as Batman and Robin from the classic 1960s live-action Batman TV series. There is a trailer for the film now, via Entertainment Weekly, and it features Batman and Robin nearly roasted alive attached to a giant TV dinner. In other words, this is already the best Batman movie of 2016:
For a long time, the Batman TV series’ name was practically a profanity in comic-book fan circles; the show was a such a massive success that its deliberately campy tone and pop art visuals became a shorthand for all comics, and in some circles a stigma that was hard to erase. As a kid, I loved watching reruns of West and Ward’s Batman on the Family Channel, because at the time that was literally the only Batman show that existed, but by the time I was a teenager there was Batman: The Animated Series and the ’60s show looked deeply uncool. To admit you liked it on anything other than an ironic level was the equivalent of saying you were a big fan of cannibalism; it just wasn’t done.
In recent years, though, public opinion has shifted. Some comics and comic movies have gotten so dark, that Batman’s arch tone now seems refreshing. The fashions, dialogue, and effects are so old now they’ve moved from camp to vintage. They’re almost cool. And while a lot of people dismissed Batman as unintentionally goofy, when they finally get around to watching it, they realize the show (and the Batman movie, which is also great) had a wonderful and deliberate sense of humor. Batman is allowed to be fun. Comics are allowed to be fun. It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom.
Warner Bros. rereleased the Batman series on Blu-ray to great acclaim, and DC has put out some terrific Batman ’66 comics in recent years done in the style of the old show. So it’s the perfect time to bring Ward and West back as Batman and Robin in animated form. (Julie Newmar will also return to pester the Dynamic Duo as Catwoman.) I hope the movie totally embraces the spirit of the old show. Given that we’ve already seen the Caped Crusaders strapped to a giant TV dinner in the first trailer, I think they’re on the right track. The film premieres on digital HD on October 11 and Blu-ray on November 1.