NYCC: Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Panel shows promise

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Mar 26, 2021, 2:00 AM EDT (Updated)

Holy Gaslight, Steampunk Batman! The Batman: Gotham by Gaslight panel had the New York Comic Con attendees wanting more. Panelist included director/producer Sam Liu, executive producer Bruce Timm and screenwriter Jim Krieg. The dynamic trio did their best to give the fans what they wanted while still leaving them wanting more.

The original story was a one-shot written by Brian Augustyn and drawn by Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell. The story featured a Bruce Wayne in 1889 that saw critical acclaim and multiple reprints. Mignola's art style is a driving force and inspiration to the film, according to the panelist. "There wasn’t a time that we weren’t looking at the comic," Timm said while the animated film was in development. "Don’t expect a frame by frame adaptation." The full length animated feature pits Batman against the infamous Jack the Ripper. "None of the victims are real victims, and the timeline is completely different. But we did want to incorporate Victorian London elements into Gotham City, including the famous pea soup-fog they had in London those days," Timm said.

The next film to come from DC Animation takes its inspiration from the classic Elseworlds story, where Batman was in a world of steampunk gadgets, with reimagined allies and enemies alike. The audience got to see three different clips from the upcoming movie. We will see a completely different Batman with all new gadgets that lack the modern techology. "The best gadget will be in the cowl," Krieg said.

The film will partially adapt the original Gotham by Gaslight story and the sequel, Master of the Future, and contain a few surprises and additions. Bruce Greenwood will wear the cowl and return as Batman and Bruce Wayne. "We're blessed with having a lot of reliable Batman actors in our arsenal," Timm admitted. Jennifer Carpenter will fill the Victorian boots and play Catwoman and Selina Kyle. Krieg likened the Batman and Catwoman relationship to Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler. Liu was such a big fan of Carpenter's performance on Dexter, so he was glad they were able to get her in involved. One of the audience members asked if The Joker was going to be in the movie and Timm stated, "We’ve got to save something for the sequel."

Alfred Pennyworth will be voiced by Buffy star Anthony Head. "This is the first time where it makes sense for Batman to have a butler," Timm said because of the Victorian era the Elseworlds story takes place.

The audience was curious if we can expect another Elseworld's story so the panelist took suggestions. Someone shouted Superman Red Son written by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson. "Red Son is at the top of the list if we make another one," Timm said. Another member of the audience suggested Just Imagine Stan Lee's Batman. "Only if Stan Lee voices Batman," Krieg joked.

One of the final questions from the audience was if the studio has any plans to make more films that aren't aiming for an R rating. Timm admitted the films he's making are aimed at older audiences. "It's a case by case basis, but they’re not going to be more family friendly." 

It's due in 2018, and though no official release date has been announced yet, is expected in February.

Which Elseworld story would you like to see get the animated film treatment? Let us know in the comments below!