Batman certainly does get around, and in the upcoming and aptly titled Batman Ninja, the Dark Knight finds himself fighting crime in feudal Japan. The first trailer for this unique take on DC’s greatest detective hit came out in December 2017, showcasing Batman as he tries to come to terms with being transported to the Middle Ages.
At the center of the debauchery, of course, is Batman’s greatest villain, The Joker. Helming Warner Bros.’ latest Batman release is Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki, whose artistic style is evident throughout the stylish trailer. On Feb. 13, 2018, a second, slightly longer trailer released, introducing an anxious audience to the English-speaking cast and three extra seconds of footage.
Beyond the expected pairing of Batman and the Joker, Batman Ninja dispatches many DC characters to feudal Japan for a robust story that will surely fit well in the expanded Batman universe. Joining the two eternal enemies is Gorilla Grodd, whose “time displacement machine” is responsible for transporting Gotham’s inhabitants to the Middle Ages.
The December trailer gave a first look at the redesigns for Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Alfred, Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood, Penguin, Two-Face and Deathstroke. In the latest trailer, part of its extra length gave a glimpse of Bane, who goes from luchador to sumo wrestler to fit in the new setting.
Though neither Mark Hamill or Kevin Conroy signed on to reprise their respective roles as the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight, Tony Hale and Roger Craig Smith’s interpretations fill their shoes nicely. The talented vocals of Tara Strong, Fred Tatasciore, Will Friedle, Yuri Lowenthal and Tom Kenny will also help bring this tale to life.
Written by Kazuki Nakashima and directed by Jumpei Mizusaki, Batman Ninja is far from the first time the Dark Knight has jumped time periods or even locations. In January 2018, Warner Bros. released Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, which took place in a Victorian-era Gotham City. Like Batman Ninja, Gotham by Gaslight features a rogue’s gallery of familiar characters like Harvey Dent, Hugo Strange, Alfred, and Selina Kyle.
Batman Ninja is scheduled for digital release on April 24, 2018. A physical release on Blu-ray and DVD will follow on May 8, 2018, with a 4k digital download launching sometime during the summer.