Ordinarily, straight-to-DVD releases get a bad rap. It's understandable, considering they're frequently terrible. But now and again, certain works end up in the DVD pile simply because there's not enough of an audience to warrant a wide release, no matter how solid the material itself might be. Animated comic book adaptations are perhaps the most frequent victim of this widespread lack of interest, but by now, all involved are used to the treatment and plan budgets accordingly. That was the case with Watchmen's Black Freighter a few years back, and it'll be the case with the upcoming animated Batman.

Almost a year ago, we found out Frank Miller's Batman origin story, Year One, was heading into production for a straight-to-DVD animated release. Now comes the word, according to Bleeding Cool, that it'll be followed in short order by The Dark Knight Returns. Not be confused with Christopher Nolan's upcoming Dark Knight Rises, it should ultimately remain close to the graphic novel it's based on, though that won't be officially confirmed until a director and a screenwriter are found for the project.

There are still no release dates for Year One or The Dark Knight Returns, but word is production has begun on the former and will soon commence on the later. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

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