Warner Bros. releases first image of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker

We have our first glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker in Warner Bros. upcoming Joker origin story. And we also have The Joker's first name.

From director Todd Phillips' Instagram:

No Country for Old Jokers?

The Daily Mail also published some not-so-official footage from the set, captured last week by paparazzi.

The yet-untitled Joker film is scheduled to open on October 4th, 2019.

Joaquin Phoenix spotted in character as The Joker for the first time as filming starts on the origins story [Daily Mail][PHOTO: PXHere] Read the rest

Jay Leno's got the goods on the Christopher Nolan Batmobile

It's been years since the first of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies hit theaters, bringing with it one of the coolest rides in movie history: this Batmobile. In this video, Jay Leno talks to some of the folks involved in bringing the beast to life on the silver screen. Watchin it bomb around town for expecting motorists to see? Very cool. Read the rest

Adam West's Batman helps kids cross the street safely

On Saturday, the UK's Birmingham City University screened "long-lost" footage of Batman helping youngsters cross the road safely. The clip, starring Adam West as the caped crusader, was shot in May 1967. Read the rest

Someone cut Tommy Wiseau's Joker performance into The Dark Knight

Remember when Tommy Wiseau dressed up as The Joker and delivered some iconic lines from The Dark Knight in his most-imitable style? The fine folks at Bup cut Tommy into the movie, and it's as hilariously horrifying as expected. Read the rest

Tommy Wiseau as The Joker

Nerdist got Tommy Wiseau, of "The Room" infamy, to dress up as Arkham Asylum's most famous resident and run through some classic lines. With firm direction, and a lot of takes, Tommy would be a startlingly good Joker.

After his success in "The Room" and the "The Disaster Artist," Tommy Wiseau has been publicly campaigning for one of the most iconic roles in the history of film: Batman's eternal nemesis, The Joker. As huge fans, we at Nerdist give him a chance to show the world what he can bring to this legendary role!

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Bat-Signal to shine over Los Angeles in memory of Adam West

The iconic bat-signal will shine on the tower of Los Angeles City Hall tonight in memory of Adam West, the (best) Batman actor who died on Saturday. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetii and L.A. Police Department Chief Charlie Beck will flip the switch at 9pm at City Hall. From the Hollywood Reporter:

For fans who can't make it to the ceremony, West's family is encouraging people to donate to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donations can also be made to Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho-based charity for children battling cancer.

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Bat-signal to shine above LA to honor Adam West

TV's Batman, the recently-departed Adam West, will be honored in a ceremony perfectly fit for a Caped Crusader.

DC Comics has announced that the Bat-signal will shine over the skies of Los Angeles on Thursday night to pay tribute to the late actor.

If fans are not able to join in the tribute Thursday night, the West family encourages Adam’s “old chums” to make a donation to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Idaho-based charity for children diagnosed with cancer and their families, Camp Rainbow Gold.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti will light the signal at the event which takes place at 9 PM at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

(Hollywood Reporter) Read the rest

How Adam West played a prank using his local phone book

A few years back, I was in Sun Valley, Idaho for a conference. I learned Adam West lived in the area and I wondered if he was listed in the local phone book. So, I pulled it out of the nightstand in my hotel room and checked.

Flipping to the the "W" page, I spotted his name. His listing prompted, “See Wayne Bruce (Millionaire)." Ha, game on!

Naturally I flipped to “Wayne Bruce (Millionaire)," which brought me to "Please consult Crime Fighters in the Yellow Pages." 

Ok, that brought me to "See BATMAN - WHITE PAGES"..

Which then circles back to "See West Adam"!

   

Nicely played, Mr. West, nicely played. RIP.

(image link) Read the rest

Adam West, 1928-2017

Adam West, famed as Batman and latterly for his work in animation, is dead at 88.

“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family said in a statement.

With its “Wham! Pow!” onscreen exclamations, flamboyant villains and cheeky tone, “Batman” became a surprise hit with its premiere on ABC in 1966, a virtual symbol of ’60s kitsch. Yet West’s portrayal of the superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, ultimately made it hard for him to get other roles, and while he continued to work throughout his career, options remained limited because of his association with the character.

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Batman symbol fidget spinner cast from brass bullet casings

There's some remarkable craftsmanship at work in this step-by-step video of making a large brass fidget spinner shaped like the Batman logo. The best part is they are giving it away to a viewer. Read the rest

Burt Ward's "Boy Wonder" song, a collaboration with Frank Zappa

In 1966, Burt "Robin" Ward recorded with the Mothers of Invention under the direction of Frank Zappa. The result is really something.

From Burt Ward's autobiography Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights:

The image of the Boy Wonder is all American and apple pie, while the image of the Mothers of Invention was so revolutionary that they made the Hell’s Angels look like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Even I had to laugh seeing a photo of myself with those animals.

Their fearless leader and king of grubbiness was the late Frank Zappa. (The full name of the band was Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.) After recording with me, Frank became an internationally recognized cult superstar, which was understandable; after working with me, the only place Frank could go was up.

Although he looked like the others, Frank had an intelligence and education that elevated him beyond brilliance to sheer genius. I spent a considerable amount of time talking with him, and his rough, abrupt exterior concealed an intellectual, creative and sensitive interior...

In an attempt at self-preservation, the record company had me just talk on the second two sides I recorded. That I could do very well! The material for the song was a group of fan letters that had been sent to me. Frank and I edited them together to make one letter, which became the lyrics for the recording. Frank wrote a melody and an arrangement, and we titled the song, “Boy Wonder, I Love You!”

Among the lyrics was an invitation for me to come and visit an adoring pubescent fan and stay with her for the entire summer.

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Presented in stark black and white, Batman Noir takes on the origin of comics’ greatest super-villain, The Joker

Let me start off by saying, this black and white reprint of The Killing Joke is a gimmick. I know it’s a gimmick. You know it’s a gimmick. But dang in this case, the gimmick works. The Batman Noir series is part of a recent trend where DC is reprinting some of their most popular books in stark black and white, so that you’ll purchase them again or for the first time. While some of the other Batman Noir comics really lose something with their lack of color, The Killing Joke feels like it should have always been this contrasty.

Removing all the color makes one of the darkest stories in the Batman mythos, even darker. If you haven’t read it, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s story dives into the Joker’s origins, and his belief that one bad day is all that separates humanity from madness. While generally considered non-canonical the story had a huge influence on the comics, and how Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan would depict the Joker on film.

So why should you purchase another copy of a book that most Batman fans already have? Well, it’s beautiful. The matte hard cover is gorgeous and the added art looks amazing. This edition also includes both additional comics from 2008’s deluxe edition, but does not have the introduction or epilogue, which I don’t miss. So, if you haven’t read The Killing Joke, or if your current copy is dog-eared and fading and you want something to display on your shelf, definitely pick up a copy. Read the rest

Jan and Dean meet Batman

The track Batman is really the only thing worth listening to on the incredibly odd tribute album, Jan and Dean meet Batman.

Shortly after the release of Batman as a single, William Jan Berry was injured in a largely career ending car crash. Read the rest

Watch Batman documentary "Holy Batmania"

A 1989 documentary covering the birth of Batman through to the best on-screen Batman ever, Mr. Adam West.

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DC reprints the classic Batman/Harley Quinn story Mad Love as a coloring book

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Coloring DC: Batman: Mad Love Featuring Harley Quinn

by Paul Dini (author) and Bruce Timm (illustrator)

DC Comics

2016, 7.5 x 11.5 x 0.4 inches (softcover)

$10 Buy a copy on Amazon

Over the past few decades the dynamic duo of legacy comic book companies, Marvel and DC, have introduced hundreds of new characters. Most have failed to catch on (sorry, Adam-X, the X-Treme!), and while recently many new characters have garnered acclaim and small cadres of devoted fans, the new Ms. Marvel and Prez have yet to become the next Wolverine.

2016 has seen two major breakthroughs that may pave the way: Marvel’s Deadpool and DC’s Harley Quinn. Both were created in the 1990s and have suddenly become the superhero equivalent of rock stars, with T-shirts and tchotchkes available at every Target and Hot Topic in America. One of them even has their own make-up line (I’ll let you guess who). My dad in his 70s now knows these characters, which I find equally amusing and eye rolling.

Which brings us to coloring books. Okay, maybe not directly, but the ascension of Harley Quinn as a character and the recent popularity of coloring books for adults has created a perfect storm, and now we have Coloring DC – Batman: Mad Love Featuring Harley Quinn, a coloring book written and drawn by her creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. This oversized tome contains a few extra stories of DC heroines and villians on the undercard, but the prime material is a reprinting of the terrific Harley story Mad Love. Read the rest

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Keaton

This would have been better. (stryderHD)

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Dark Night – Paul Dini's chilling autobiographical Batman tale

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Dark Night: A True Batman Story

by Paul Dini (author) and Eduardo Risso (illustrator)

Vertigo

2016, 128 pages, 6.9 x 10.4 x 0.5 inches

$14 Buy a copy on Amazon

Batman the Animated Series was perhaps the cartoon of my childhood. I remember watching it when it premiered, and followed it through its entire run. While I’ve loved the movies, and the comics, Batman for me will always be the voice of Kevin Conroy, and the Joker will always be Mark Hamill. I owe my love for Batman to this wonderful show that Paul Dini helped create, which is why I was so struck to read his chilling autobiographical Batman tale.

Like myself and many others, Dini too was hugely influenced by Batman through his childhood. The beginning of the book establishes how comics became a coping mechanism for Dini as he navigated through the world with social anxiety. His lonely but successful life is thrown upside down one night when he was mugged and beaten within an inch of his life.

Dini’s story is all about coming to grips with a world that can be cruel, dealing with demons, and finding a way to overcome. It’s a Batman story that doesn’t take place in the Batman universe. I found it tremendously moving, the artwork beautiful, and I highty recommend it.

– JP LeRoux Read the rest

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