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The Dark Knight Returns Animated Film Brings To Life Frank Miller's Grizzled Batman

See the first scenes of the upcoming animated film adaptation of the classic 1986 comic.

Before Batman became the tortured, brooding, ass-kicking blade of questionable justice we know and love today, the character suffered a long and brutal dismantling at the hands of some poorly conceived comics and the campy 60s TV series starring Adam West, which swiftly removed any mystique the character had with a POW! and a BANG! Tim Burton’s 1989 rendition of the hero, Batman, breathed new life into the mainstream image of Batman, and thus revived the caliginous nature of his story, perpetuated by Batman: The Animated Series, which was briefly trampled on by Joel Schumacher before being once again restored with the Christopher Nolan trilogy that just came to an end.

But before Batman hit this good streak, in 1986, Frank Miller drew out a Batman darker and more twisted than any incarnation before or after it. The Dark Knight Returns saw an aged Batman, exhausted from years of fighting an uphill battle, return (go figure) in a crusade that has less to do with the overall Bat-mission of instilling justice, and a lot more to do with getting out some cathartic and immensely brutal ass kickings. Not to mention he dons a bat-helmet and beats the ever-living crap out of Superman!

Now we get to see the action from the pages of The Dark Knight Returns spring to life in the upcoming animated feature based on this classic book. The trailer dropped a couple of weeks back (below), and now we get a little sample clip from the film (above). Excitement levels are starting to run pretty high. For the record, if they ever made this into a live action flick, my money is on Harrison Ford as the bitter old Bruce Wayne. If you can think of someone better, let us know in the comments!