Monday, April 26, 2010

Could Batman Win a Tony Award?

Loyal citizens of Gfest, does it get any better than the possibility that a Batman stage show soon might be swooping to a town near you?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. and DC Comics are in the early stages of developing a tour, tentatively titled "Batman Live" and starring the Caped Crusader, working with Nick Grace Management and Water Lane Prods., companies behind the popular "Walking With Dinosaurs" and "Mamma Mia!" touring shows.

The show is neither a musical nor a Broadway-bound theatrical production but rather an elaborate arena production aimed at kids and families.

Alan Burnett, a longtime animation veteran whose credits include Batman and Superman television shows as well as such animated movies as "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" and "Green Lantern: First Flight," is writing the story and script. The logline is being kept under wraps, but it's known that the show will feature numerous villains.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products is spearheading the project, whose deals with NGM and WLP are licensing agreements. Other partners might come aboard.

The credentials of NGM and WLP are well-known in the stage world. The award-winning "Dinosaurs" show, for example, boasted intricate dinos and sets, and the tours generated tens of millions of dollars, consistently ranking near the top of Pollstar's annual ranking.

No timeline for the "Batman" show is set, though one scenario involves aiming to come out after Christopher Nolan's third "Batman" movie in 2012. Another scenario has it opening in 2011.

Mounting any type of stage production featuring a superhero can be tricky -- just look at the on-again, off-again Spider-Man Broadway musical -- but Batman could be the first DC Comics character with his own touring stage show. His erstwhile colleague Superman was the center of a Broadway show in 1966, but it closed after a few months despite fairly positive reviews.

Warners' consumer products division declined comment.

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