Warner Bros apparently sees some money still in the classic 60s Batman TV series, which starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the caped crusader and his sidekick Robin, in a very campy take on the otherwise Dark Knight of Gotham. Today Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced an all-new licensing program for the series, which for years only made available the Batmobile for licensing. But now the new program includes all sorts of art, gadgets from the show like the Bat-phone, as well as the likeness of the stars and many of their arch enemies, including Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Vincent Price as Egghead and Eartha Kitt as Catwoman.
What is interesting is that the original series still has yet to see a digital release of any kind – long rumored to be due to disagreements about the various rights holders. The theatrical movie that was released between the first and second seasons has both a DVD and Blu-ray release, however, but this new licensing program makes no mention of the actual footage from theseries being available.
I am just learning that British actor Michael Gough, perhaps best known in the U.S. as Alfred in the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, and is also known to Doctor Who fans as “The Celestial Toymaker” as well as Councillor Hedin in “Arc Of Infinity”, passed away at the age of 94. He most recently was the voice of the Dodo Bird in Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.
Teh Kitteh is in! Anne Hathaway (Alice In Wonderland, The Princess Diaries) will be the next Catwoman in the next installment in the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. announced today. Hathaway beat out Keira Knightley, Jessica Biel and others who tested for the role opposite Christian Bale. She joins a pantheon of previous kitties: Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriweather from the 1960s Batman TV series (and movie), Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, and Hally Berry in the failed Catwoman spinoff movie.
WB also identified the role that Tom Hardy (Inception) will play – Bane, a more recent villain created in 1993 for the comic and is best known for breaking Batman’s back in the Knightfall serial.
Another case of the IMAX announcement that got out a little ahead of the studios, although it shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone: A third Batman feature from Christopher Nolan has been confirmed by Warner Bros. with a release date of July 20, 2012 – although there aren’t any further details than that, including a production start date.
The best of the Batman franchise movies so far (both in my opinion and by box office receipts) gets its Blu-Ray and DVD release this Tuesday…Read More for a review of both the movie and the Blu-Ray disc…and if you are interested in some web-based Batman diversions, check out The Dark Knight Widget and The Dark Knight Puzzle.