Adam West and Burt Ward, known by many as Batman and Robin, have teased about a new animated project involving the duo since 2015. Now, as Catwoman likes to say, the cat is out of the bag. A teaser trailer for the upcoming Warner Home Video animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders has just been released on Entertainment Weekly’s website.
The teaser shows West and Ward in animated form tied to a giant TV tray approaching a well-marked “giant oven.” While Batman figures out a way to escape, he tells Robin about the new movie that features new adventures with arch criminals Catwoman, the Joker, the Riddler and the Penguin. The new movie receives a Digital HD release on October 11 but the Blu-ray/DVD version won’t be available until November 1.
Information about what the actual storyline(s) will be presented in the Batman movie have not been yet disclosed, but we do know that the characters of Batman, Robin, and Catwoman will all be played by original cast members Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar.
While the film does contain other characters from the original ABC series that ran from 1966 to 1968, the trio are the only remaining cast members still alive. Yvonne Craig (Batgirl) died last August, Cesar Romero (Joker) died in 1994, Burgess Meredith (Penguin) died in 1997, and Frank Gorshin (Riddler) died in 2005. John Astin, who played the role of the Riddler one time during the second season of the show, is still alive, but there is no word if he will be voicing the role or any other role for that matter. However, some Bat-fans might find it a “crime” if he wasn’t invited to the party.
This year marks TV’s Batman’s 50th anniversary, a fact that was celebrated early with a release of the first season of the series on DVD and Blu-Ray for the first time in November of 2014. The second season was released in February of 2015, and the third season came out in November 2015. The show was been celebrated in other ways as well, including nostalgic action figures in the likeness of the TV show actors, a large Lego brick toy set of the Batcave, and a new comic book series called Batman ’66.
DC Comics began running Batman ’66, a series written by Jeff Parker, in 2013. It features the likenesses of the actors who played the characters in the original TV show as well as the show’s tone and style. Each story is illustrated by different artists.
— Marshall Julius (@MarshallJulius) August 18, 2016
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It has been difficult for various Batman actors to pursue acting after being typecast in their Bat-roles, and they often returned to similar projects over the years. After the series ended, Ward and Craig reprised their superhero roles for an “Equal Pay” public service announcement in 1972. West and Ward voiced their character’s roles for the 1977 Filmation cartoon series The New Adventures of Batman. In 1979 West, donned his cowl once again with Ward and Frank Gorshin for two Hanna-Barbera Legends of the Superheroes TV specials.
The three also appeared as themselves in the 2003 TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt. This time, they were joined by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether (who played Catwoman for the Batman theatrical movie), and Lyle Waggoner (who was originally up for the role of Batman but lost it to West) who was the film’s villain. Yvonne Craig was also invited back for the movie but refused because she reportedly did not like the script.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]