I’m a huge Lost fan. A Lostie, even. I actually understood most of what went down on that island. Including the polar bear. And if I had to pick one person out of that show as a favourite, it would undoubtedly be Michael Emerson. His Benjamin Linus was a layered, manipulative, creepy character and Emerson pulled it all off masterfully.
So it’s only fitting that he’s now been revealed as the voice behind another of pop culture’s most complex villains, the Joker, in the upcoming animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal Batman graphic novel, The Dark Knight Returns.
Part 1 of the animated film will be dropping on DVD and Blu Ray in a couple weeks on September 25th, but we’ll unfortunately have to wait until Part 2 in early 2013 before we get to see – or is that hear? – Emerson in action, as that’s when the Joker will make his first appearance.
In the alternate future story, Joker has been released from Arkham Asylum after being declared legally sane, but then starts returning to his crazed ways again once Batman returns from retirement as well, which means Emerson will really get a chance to go from cold and calculating to completely flipped out. A challenge he is looking forward to:
“He’s one of those great villains that an actor like me likes to play because he has layers — he has a face for the world and a face for himself. He is, in a way, a villain who is a natural actor. All of that is that is delightful and confounding at the same time. It’s freeing because of the largeness of it. When he laughs, there’s nothing subdued about it. When he screams in rage, there’s nothing controlled about it. The amp is turned to 11 at all times.”
Emerson will of course be facing off against none other than Robocop himself, as Peter Weller will be voicing this older version of the Caped Crusader. Joining them will be Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter as Gotham’s newest Robin, while Human Target actor Mark Valley will be behind the voice of a middle aged Superman.
Here’s the synopsis and trailer for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 1, just to keep you going for the next couple of weeks:
“It’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with race cars and liquor – but the bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.”
Last Updated: September 5, 2012