April 20, 2011 9:00am PT by Borys Kit
'Batman: Year One' Lines Up Voice Cast, Sets Comic-Con Premiere (Exclusive)
Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku and Katee Sackhoff have been tapped to star as the voices in Batman: Year One, the adaptation of the Frank Miller comic book classic from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.
Lauren Montgomery and Sam Liu are directing the movie, the 12th entry in the successful series of DC universe animated originals. Tab Murphy wrote the script.
The feature adapts the landmark four-issue story written by Miller and drawn by David Mazzucchelli that first appeared in 1987 on the heels of Miller's seminal work, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Those tomes, along with The Watchmen, helped elevate the comics medium, changing the public's perception of the art form and influencing Hollywood writers and artists to this day.
In Year One, a young Bruce Wayne is first starting out as a costumed vigilante. He creates an early bond with Lieutenant James Gordon, whose importance in the tale makes it as much as Gordon's story as Wayne's.
Cranston is playing Gordon, while McKenzie is Wayne/Batman. Dushku voices Catwoman, while Sackhoff is Detective Sarah Essen, a Gordon love interest.
Additionally, Alex Rocco lends his pipes as crime lord Carmine Falcone.
As one of the holy grails in comic books, Year One will be closely scrutinized for faithfulness, but superhero animation veteran Bruce Timm, who is exec producing, says there is very little in the movie that isn't in the comic.
"The source material is surprisingly cinematic; it's a pretty straight forward literal retelling," he says. "Mazzucchelli's artwork is beautifully composed and we were able to refer to the comic for about 80 percent of the camera setups."
Cranston, an Emmy winner for AMC's Breaking Bad, says he initially turned down the chance to work on Year One, not even wanting to read the script. He blames it on his ignorance of the animation medium as well as the classic comics.
"I wasn't aware of this level of storytelling in animation. I confess that freely," he says. "They didn't give the characters the short shrift. I was stunned."
Batman: Year One, which will be rated PG-13, is scheduled to be released on home video in the fall but will world premiere in July at Comic-Con.
Cranston is repped by UTA, while McKenzie is repped by Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
Check out an exclusive peek at the movie below, and click here for another sweet shot.