Beware the Batman
|Beware the Batman|
|Developed by||Glen Murakami|
|Written by||Mitch Watson
|Directed by||Sam Liu
|Voices of||Anthony Ruivivar
J. B. Blanc
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|Executive producer(s)||Sam Register|
|Production company(s)||DC Entertainment
Warner Bros. Animation
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
|Original airing||July 2013|
|Preceded by||Batman: The Brave and the Bold|
Beware the Batman is an upcoming American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series is set to air in the United States on Cartoon Network starting in summer 2013, as part of their DC Nation block. It is the replacement for Batman: The Brave and the Bold. To confirm the 2013 premiere date in July, at the 2012 Cartoon Network Upfront Beware the Batman was listed as part of 2012–13 television schedule. Beware the Batman is produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
Crime-fighting vigilante Batman teams up with swordmistress Katana and his ex-secret agent butler Alfred Pennyworth to face the criminal underworld led by Anarky, Magpie, Ra's al Ghul, Tobias Whale, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, Humpty Dumpty, King Kraken, Axel Alex, and Ten-Eyed Man. Anarky, in particular, will be the main antagonist in the series.
After Batman: The Brave and the Bold ended its run in November 2011, a new series went under production, so that Batman could return to a more "serious tone". When the series was first unveiled it was announced that lesser known villains would be introduced. For example, two of the shows villains, Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad are from Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin comics. Sam Register explained "We went in deeper into the villain library and pulled out some other villains" and the studio did not want the series to do another "Joker story". With Batman receiving a new sidekick, Outsiders member Katana, Register even commented that "Katana is gonna be his new Robin, but not necessarily." The series will be computer-animated in a CGI format, similar to Green Lantern: The Animated Series's animation style; the CGI has been described as "cutting edge".
Thematic realism 
|“||The way these guys have constructed the city itself – I mean, they're still building it; they're building Gotham City itself – it's not just a couple of sets.||”|
—Mitch Watson, 2012.
Developers expressed that the series would be a departure from previous Batman animated series in their choice to focus on the character's nature as a detective. Crime fighting in the series would put emphasis on procedural aspects of mystery solving. Batman would also be more subject to external threats of injury. "He gets hurt. There are several episodes where he really... gets damaged", emphasized Mitch Watson.
The requirements of CGI at times necessitated that inanimate objects such as ships and city streets were built, rather than simply drawn, creating a need for the completion of entire set designs. This would increase production times, but later allow the developers to bring cinematic qualities of lighting and camera play to the series. Batman's utility belt was fully recreated from cardboard and worn by producer Glen Murakami's design team, to test how the belt would function while in motion. "If you really built it, it would work", said Watson. Batarangs were designed to flip-open and function when retrieved from the belt. The Batmobile was also subjected to scrutiny, as a "certain amount of weight" was added to it as it moved on city streets, out of concern that it would be unbelievable otherwise.
However, while an eye to realism was set to Batman and the environment, developers allowed themselves license to stylize the series, and character's appearances. The villains were particularly designed to be "over the top".
|“||We've taken the essence of all the characters and we've put sort of a different spin on it. You know, there's some stuff we can't adapt because it's too complicated or [not fit for a kid's show].||”|
Mitch Watson, co-producer of Beware the Batman, explained how the crew behind the series approached Batman for the show the way they did, stating "In the way we approached Batman for this show, he's at the beginning of his career, he's probably been doing it for about five to six years, he's in his early 30s. And character-wise, we broke him into three parts. There's the public Bruce Wayne, who we modeled slightly after Richard Branson. We wanted to make Bruce Wayne more of an altruistic guy and the company's [Wayne Enterprise] trying to do good. So, that's the public Bruce. The private Bruce is more introspective guy who really only deals with Alfred, and Alfred at the beginning of the series is really the only person who sees that side of Bruce Wayne. He's quiet; he's a little bit obsessive about particular things."
Following initial promotion of the series, critics were concerned with what they interpreted to be the re-characterization of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler, as a fellow crime fighter. Producer Glen Murakami explained that initial promotion posters that had been issued to the press were not originally intended for release, and that they did not give an accurate display of Alfred's role in the show. However, Murakami referred to Alfred's canonical backstory, which cast Alfred as a former MI6 agent, and said that this would be Alfred's portrayal in the show. "I think people are really going to like him", series writer Mitch Watson said. "He's Sean Connery from The Untouchables. He's badass." The characterization of Alfred would be that of a man who was once in a physical condition on par with Batman, who was now in his 60s and past his prime, but still able to provide advice to Batman and be an ally when necessary. This characterization was pitched to DC Comics, who responded that the company was coincidentally also taking Alfred in that direction. Series developers originally intended to give Alfred a greater role in the series, but Murakami advised that they scale back his activities, over concern that he could outshine Batman.
Several of the villains to be newly featured were also revamped for the series. Producers announced that Anarky was chosen to function as the primary antagonist, and was re-characterized as a criminal mastermind who would challenge Batman through complex schemes and machinations. Magpie, a character designed in the 1980s, underwent a costume redesign to give her a more contemporary appearance.
Concerns with violent content 
Acknowledging the violent nature of Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad, the creators toned down their depiction to make them less violent than their comic book counterparts.
- Anthony Ruivivar – The Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Sumalee Montano – Katana / Tatsu Yamashiro
- J.B. Blanc – Alfred Pennyworth
- Udo Kier – Mister Toad
- Lance Reddick – Ra's al Ghul
- Kurtwood Smith – Lt. James Gordon
- Cree Summer – Bethany Ravenclaw
- Mark Banker – Writer
- Glen Murakami – Producer – Developer
- Sam Register – Executive Producer
- Mitch Watson – Producer – Writer
- Greg Weisman – Writer
Initial announcements for the series were accompanied with promotional art that was not intended for public release, depicting Alfred as a gun-toting butler. In response to fan criticism, producer Glen Murakami acknowledged that this poster image was an inaccurate representation of what the character's actual role would be. "You can't have an action pose of a guy standing with a tray", joked Murakami. He elaborated that the poster was intended to be an action themed shot that displayed the cast of characters, but that Alfred would remain true to his original characterization.
Scott Thill, technology and pop culture commentator for Wired magazine, has praised the choice to debut Anarky on television, noting the character's relevance following the rise of the occupy movement and the hacktivist activities of Anonymous.
See also 
- Harvey, James. ""Beware The Batman" CGI Animated Series Coming For 2013, "DC Nation" Updates". The World's Finest. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Beat, The (March 29, 2012). "Beware the Batman leads new Cartoon Network lineup". Comics Beat. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Lesnick, Silas (March 28, 2012). "Cartoon Network Wants You to Beware the Batman!". Superhero Hype. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Veronese, Keith (July 19, 2012). "Bruce Wayne goes back to his detective roots, in Beware the Batman". io9. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
- G-Man (July 24, 2010). "Comic-Con: Brave and the Bold & Young Justice Panel". Comic Vine. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- "Liveblog: Keynote: Sam Register, Warner Bros. Animation". Liveblog. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "'Beware The Batman' Cartoon Series Strikes In 2013". MTV. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- SDCC 2012: DC Nation – Beware The Batman – Mitch Watson & Glen Murakami Interview. Interview with producers, recorded for Misfitsofscifi.com (Uploaded July 17, 2012)
- SDCC 2012 – Beware the Batman Interview. Interview with producers, recorded for Pixelatedgeek.com (Uploaded July 20, 2012)
- Droege, CB (July 17, 2012). "Beware the Batman teaser gives fair warning". TG Daily. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Wallenstein, Andrew (July 27, 2012). "Warner Bros. tones down 'Batman' TV toon". Variety. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- "JB Blanc's Fanpage". Facebook. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- "Lance Reddick On Dr0ne, Fringe & More". G4tv.com. July 18, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- "Kurtwood Smith Talks Beware the Batman". Movie Web. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Comikase 2012! Part 2: Cree Summer". Comic Attack. September 20, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Thill, Scott (2012-04-18). "Beware The Batman's CGI Teaser Surfaces, But When Will Anarky Arrive?". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19.