For Batman fans in the Western Hemisphere who’ve been waiting since New York Comic Con to see a time-traveling Batman go literally medieval on his enemies, the wait is almost over.
Warner Brothers has released a new English-language trailer for Batman Ninja, a new animated feature film reimagining the Caped Crusader as a samurai warrior in feudal Japan.
In Batman Ninja, Batman and several of his worst enemies are transported back in time to feudal Japan, where the villains take over the forms of the feudal lords who rule the land (with the Joker taking the lead among the warring factions, obviously).
In order to defeat his foes and get back to present-day Gotham, the Dark Knight must get by with a little help from his friends—and also from a samurai sword.
Batman Ninja was directed by Jumpei Mizusaki (opening animation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and written by Kazuki Nakashima (Gurren Lagann), with character design by Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai).
The script was then reinterpreted and rewritten for English-language distribution by screenwriters Leo Chu and Eric Garcia (Supah Ninjas, Afro Samurai).
Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) and Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) lead the English-speaking cast as Batman and the Joker, respectively, while Grey Griffin (Scooby-Doo) voices Catwoman and Tara Strong (Batman: The Killing Joke) lends her pipes for Harley Quinn.
“Our partners at Warner Bros. Japan have conjured an impressive addition to the Dark Knight’s canon of entertainment, taking Batman and his friends and foes in an altogether new direction,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing, in a news release.
The film was first announced at New York Comic Con, where fans got a taste of the almost-too-cool-to-be-true project.
At the Batman Ninja NYCC panel, Okazaki explained that combining 21st-century Gotham with the Middle Ages of Japan was perfect for him. He described himself as a huge fan of Batman and very familiar with both ninja and samurai, which made him “very conscious of not going too overboard with [his] character designs.”
The Japanese language trailer was released Dec. 1.
Batman Ninja becomes available on Digital On-Demand on April 24, then on DVD and Blu-ray on May 8.