Japanese Anime Studios Confirmed for Batman Video

posted on by Egan Loo

The "2008 Movie Spectacular" special issue of Wizard magazine reports that Japan's Studio 4°C, Production I.G, and Madhouse are animating Batman: Gotham Knight, a collection of six shorts about the iconic DC Comics detective. All three studios worked with Warner Brothers on another trans-Pacific collection of animated shorts with a Hollywood movie tie-in: The Animatrix. Although the Gotham Knight shorts are compatible with storyline of the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight films that Christopher Nolan has been directing for Warner Brothers, they are also standalone stories. The collection is scheduled for the summer of 2008.

Bruce Timm, the acclaimed creator and producer of many of the animated DC Universe projects since 1992, is directing the shorts. Batman comic writers Brian Azzarello and Greg Rucka, A History of Violence film writer Josh Olson, Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, The Dark Knight producer Jordan Goldberg, and Batman: The Animated Series writer Alan Burnett are each contributing the script for one of the shorts.

This project is not the first time that Japanese artists have interpreted the Dark Knight. The animators of Tokyo Movie Shinsha and Sunrise worked with Timm on portions of Batman: The Animated Series during the 1990s. Manga artist Kia Asamiya has been a longtime fan of Batman, and his Batman renderings have been appearing on magazine covers, collectible figures, and the 2000-2001 Batman: The Child of Dreams series. Famed manga artist and director Katsuhiro Otomo created "The Third Mask" short story in DC Comics' Batman: Black & White #4 in 1996.

Thank you to Bonertown for the news tip.

Update: Note on Katsuhiro Otomo's 1996 short story added. Thanks, eloyabun.

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