'The Dark Knight Returns Part 1' Animated Trailer

You're reading that headline correctly: this is the trailer for The Dark Knight Returns, rather than The Dark Knight Rises. The film in question is the animated adaptation of Frank Miller's 1986 Batman graphic novel that changed the direction of the character and inspired Christopher Nolan's take on the hero.

The first part of Warners' direct to disc (and digital) adaptation of Miller's story focuses on the terrible state of Gotham City after Batman's ten-year absense, and the conflict with a gangland leader that brings the Bat back into the game.

I like Peter Weller as the voice of an older Batman, and I'm hoping this won't be as dry as Batman: Year One. That adapted Miller's earlier Batman story with a few good flourishes, but overall was a little too pagebound. The Dark Knight Returns is a much wilder story, and while this trailer suggests the film is playing pretty close to the graphic novel, maybe we'll get lucky and there will be a few things that push it out of simple "motion comics" territory.

The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on September 25. Jay Oliva directed from a script by Bob Goodman and executive produced by Sam Register and Bruce Timm.

...it's been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight's cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new...and old.