After his recent passing, it was unclear whether Adam West would actually return for the sequel to last November’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Turns out, we can rest easy as Warner Bros. has confirmed that West completed his recording for Batman vs. Two-Face before his death.
The film co-stars William Shatner as Harvey Dent, and also includes the return of Burt Ward and Julie Newmar as Robin and Catwoman, respectively. During the course of the ’60s Batman series, the DC Comics hero fought many of his foes from the rogue gallery of villains, including Mr. Freeze, TJoker and Penguin. However, Two-Face never appeared on the series (the closest we go was a series’ original character known as False Face, portrayed by Malachi Throne), so bringing Two-Face into that world via an animated movie is pretty special. What’s more is that Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, is providing the voice of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman Vs. Two-Face, which sounds like a blast from the past from two venerable icons of TV pastiche.
In the ’60s, legendary sci-fi author Harlan Ellison wrote a Batman TV show script that would have introduced Two-Face to the show (who was to be played by Clint Eastwood), but it was never filmed. Then, in 2014, the never-filmed episode The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face finally saw the light of day as a comic done up in the style of the 60’s Batman TV show aptly titled Batman ’66.
Harlan Ellison and Len Wein were credited as the writers and José Luis García-López and Joe Prado were the illustrators. Shatner’s Two-Face in the upcoming Batman Vs. Two-Face is definitely modeled after García-López and Prado’s design.
2016’s Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders successfully revived the campy, angular-shot-showcasing aesthetics and story continuity of the 1966-1968 series, and was a hit with both fans and critics for its wonderfully sincere nostalgia. So count on Batman Vs. Two-Face to follow suit. Director Rick Morales is returning to direct Batman Vs. Two-Face after helming the first installment.
West said in October at New York Comic-Con about this new animated return for his caped crusader:
“It really was [easy getting back into character], because you do something, you play a character for three years…and then you get material that’s good, like these guys gave me, that really captures the tone of what we did — it wasn’t that difficult. It wasn’t at all. [I used to] go into work and I’d put on that cowl and immediately it was magic. You pull on the cowl, you just become Batman … you get enthusiastic. That’s part of developing a character — it stays with you, you can do it.”
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and DVD, while Batman vs. Two-Face has yet to receive a release date. What a wonderful and lasting tribute to the man who defined Batman for so many fans.
Images: Warner Bros., DC