Batman: Under The Red Hood

Batman: Under The Red Hood

Last December, it was revealed that “Batman: Under The Red Hood” will be the next DC animated film released on DVD. Adapted by Judd Winick from a story he wrote in the “Batman” comic, “Under the Red Hood” deals with the return of Jason Todd, the second Robin who was brutally beaten to death by the Joker.

Although the latest voice of the Joker, John DiMaggio — best known for his comedic turn as Bender on “Futurama” — has cited Cesar Romero’s Joker (from the Adam West era “Batman” TV series) as his primary inspiration, the actor has promised that his take on the Joker will still be dark.

“I actually would’ve loved to see Cesar Romero take the role to its darkness,” said DiMaggio. “There was a bit of Cesar Romero in what I did, but it’s Cesar Romero if he was in ‘A Clockwork Orange.'”

“I guess my naiveté in my approach kind of kept it clean,” continued DiMaggio. “I wasn’t trying to do a Jack (Nicholson) or a Heath (Ledger). I respect all the folks that have come before me, and their take on the character. Mark Hamill is awesome, Heath Ledger was unbelievable, and Jack Nicholson — what can you say? But I wanted to do my own thing.”

“I just wanted to honor the real true lunacy of the character,” added DiMaggio. “I didn’t want to make him campy, but I wanted to pay a little bit of tribute to the past Jokers – and yet keep it original at the same time. That’s walking a fine line, if there ever was one.”

DiMaggio also offered his insight into the Joker’s mindset.

“I think the Joker thinks of himself, quite literally, as a necessary evil,” related DiMaggio. “And when I say that, I mean he really feels there is a place for him, and that he somehow balances the chaos with the non-chaos. It’s a yin and yang thing. And it’s really not personal, it’s business. Although he can get personal and he enjoys it. That makes it that much more twisted.”

“Batman: Under The Red Hood” will also star Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”) as Batman, Jensen Ackles (“Supernatural”) as the Red Hood, Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) as Nightwing and Jason Isaacs as Ra’s Al Ghul.

The film will be released on DVD on July 27, 2010.

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