What's your ideal version of an early Christmas present? If you said the trailer for a Batman anime set in feudal Japan, then you'd be correct. Today, Warner Brothers released our first good look at Batman Ninja, an animated movie that puts one of the most bonkers twists on the Caped Crusader you'll ever see.
The project was first announced at New York Comic Con, but nothing could have prepared us for how bonkers it actually promises to be. Picture Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) and Hayato Date (Naruto) co-directing a Batman movie together and you'll start to get the picture.
Based on the trailer, it looks like Bruce Wayne mysteriously finds himself in Japan during the Middle Ages with no Batmobile or Batwing to help him defeat the Joker, aka "Devil King of the 6th Heaven, Lord Joker." He's got a collection of classic Gotham villains -- Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy -- to rewrite the country's history. With only his shōgun batsuit and physical strength, Batman will become the ninja-samurai he always has been, katana and all. This movie will boil down the character to his essence in a very unique way.
"When Japan is in a state of chaos like a mass of hemp, a ninja with a bat mask shall appear and restore order," notes the trailer's epic narration as Bruce teams up with Robin, Alfred, and a band of do-gooders to defeat the bad guys. You can watch the English-subbed preview below:
Despite the faults of the live-action DCEU, Warner Brothers has always had a lot of success with its animated superhero movies. The unconventional approaches to these properties in films like The Lego Batman Movie and now this are breathing new life into things we've seen a million times.
The animation style alone is worth a watch, even if you don't speak Japanese. You can pick up Batman Ninja on DVD or Blu-Ray sometime next year.