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Everybody’s kung fu fighting in the first Batman: Soul of the Dragon trailer

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Across almost a century of storytelling, Batman has been many things: A vampire, the last hero left alive in a totalitarian world, and a really grumpy mentor to his secret half-clone son who inherited the mantle of the bat. But here’s a look at a Batman that you’ve never seen before, in DC’s upcoming Batman: Soul of the Dragon.

A Batman…with sideburns!

Announced not too long ago, the latest project from the Warner Bros. Animation studio looks like a groovy project. It’s the caped crusader cast into a world that pulls from all your favourite 1970s kung0fu epics such as Enter the Dragon, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, and Five Deadly Venoms, hot on the trail of his missing martial arts mentor and tangling with the likes of COBRA.

The big difference here? The world’s greatest detective is teaming up with the DC Universe’s greatest fighters: Ben “Bronze Tiger” Turner, Richard Dragon, and Lady Shiva. Cue the funky guitar licks, kicks to the face that shatter nose bones, and the coolest Batmobile that the era of V8 chargers can provide:

Set in the midst of the swinging 1970s, this Elseworlds adventure finds Bruce Wayne training under a master sensei. It is here that Bruce, along with other elite students, is forged in the fire of the martial arts discipline. The lifelong bonds they form will be put to the test when a deadly menace arises from their past. It will take the combined efforts of Batman, world-renowned martial artists Richard Dragon, Ben Turner, and Lady Shiva and their mentor O-Sensei to battle the monsters of this world and beyond!

I like it! By the look of that trailer, this is a Batman film that leans heavy into its inspirations and doesn’t give a damn. The voice cast isn’t too bad either, as you’ve got David Giuntoli voicing the dark knight, Michael Jai White returning to his signature DC role of Bronze Tiger, Mark Dacascos as Richard Dragon, and Kelly Hu as Lady Shiva. Rounding out the cast is James Hong as O-Sensei. Yes that James Hong, the actor who is now into his ninth decade of life and just refuses to quit because he’s that awesome.

Sam Liu directs Batman: Soul of the Dragon, which will be kung fu fighting its way into a January 2021 release.

Last Updated: November 18, 2020

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