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Batman: The Dark Knight Returns to Premiere in New York and Los Angeles

Warner Home Video and The Paley Center for Media announced earlier today a pair of bi-coastal World Premieres for the forthcoming direct-to-video/video-on-demand movie Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1. The premieres will take place in New York on September 20 and Los Angeles on September 24, with filmmakers and cast members in attendance for interviews and panel discussions.

The film will be released on video September 25, with a second part ostensibly following it up in early 2013, although it's possible the release schedule could be affected by the recent move to shutter Warner Premiere, the studio's direct-to-video arm, which has been in charge of the DC Universe movies, of which Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is one.

From the press release:

On Thursday, September 20, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will screen at the Paley Center in New York City (25 West 52nd Street) with media interviews starting at 5:00 p.m. and screening commencing at 6:30 p.m.  Following the screening, actor David Selby (The Social Network/Dark Shadows), the voice of Commissioner Gordon, and eight-time Emmy Award winning dialogue/casting director Andrea Romano will lead a panel discussion. Additional panelists will be announced as confirmed.

On Monday, September 24, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 will screen at the Paley Center in Los Angeles (465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills) with media interviews starting at 5:30 p.m. and screening commencing at 7:00 p.m.  A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring actors David Selby (The Social Network/Dark Shadows) and Ariel Winter (Modern Family), executive producer Bruce Timm, director Jay Oliva, writer Bob Goodman and dialogue/casting director Andrea Romano. Additional participants, including voice cast members, will be announced as confirmed.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is based on the best-selling and multiple award-winning graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley which, along with Maus and Watchmen, is widely credited with bringing academic and critical credibility to American comic books in the mid-1980s. Miller made a sequel--The Dark Knight Strikes Again--in 2001 and 2002, and if The Dark Knight Returns movies do well, it probably wouldn't be surprising to see that series adapted to film as well.

Following the release of the second part of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, reports are that the Caped Crusader will return, once again played by longtime Batman animated actor Kevin Conroy, in Flashpoint, the story that set the stage for the relaunch of the DC Universe. Whether that film will set a new standard for the DC Animated movies whereby most of them will begin to feature the redesigned New 52-style costumes for the heroes is anyone's guess.

A limited number of free tickets are available for the general public.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the New York event on September 20 must RSVP via e-mail to DKReturns1@gmail.com.

Fans wishing to receive free tickets to the Los Angeles event on Sept. 24 must RSVP via e-mail to DKReturns1LA@gmail.com.

All fan RSVPs email MUST include the name of the entrant, a valid email, and the name of the media outlet/website by which the entrant learned of the screening.