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The 1966 Batman TV series has been experiencing a resurgence after Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox settled their decades-long legal battles over show rights in 2013. Since then DC Comics has been releasing new merchandise and creative material to give fans of the colorful, psychedelic series. Now a new animated project based on the TV series is being developed to coincide with the show’s 50th anniversary, and the original two leads are returning to voice the Dynamic Duo. Holy fantastic news!
At the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend (via Consequence of Sound), actors Adam West and Burt Ward announced that they will be voicing Batman and Robin respectively for an animated 90-minute film coming out in 2016. While no specific release date was revealed, it’s possible it will be released around the same time as Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters as a fun tie-in. Ward also mentioned that there may even be a second film he and West will do voice work for, but only one is confirmed as of now.
The TV series originally aired from 1966-1969 and was a pop culture phenomenon. In addition to toys and other merchandise being released following the show’s legal settlements, DC Comics also began publishing the Batman ’66 comic book series in 2013. The series was also finally released on Blu-Ray and DVD last year completely remastered, previously only being able to be seen in syndication and bootleg copies.
Aside from Ward and West, the only three major actors still alive from the series are Julie Newmar, who played Catwoman in Seasons 1 and 2, Lee Meriwether, who played the same character in the 1966 theatrical movie, and Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl in Season 3, but it’s unknown whether the production has recruited any of these talents alongside the leads. However, don’t be surprised if we see new actors voice iconic members of his rogues gallery like Joker, Penguin and Riddler.
This wont be the first time that West and Ward step back into the world of DC Comics together. Both actors returned to play their characters in The New Adventures of Batman animated series and the Legends of the Superheroes TV specials, and teamed up in 2003 for the TV movie Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt playing fictional versions of themselves. West has also voiced other characters for DC animated shows, including the Grey Ghost in Batman: The Animated Series, Mayor Grange in The Batman and Thomas Wayne in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
With a new big screen version of Batman and a return of the original TV version coming next year, fans of Batman will undoubtedly be pleased that both ends of the Bat-spectrum will be covered: the gritty, serious Dark Knight and the campy, fun Caped Crusader.