Official Press Release
Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), DC Entertainment (DCE) and Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions Ltd (WLP) announced that BATMAN LIVE – a unique action-packed live arena show – will debut in North America on September 5 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., following a popular and acclaimed arena tour throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America. Two and a half years in the making, BATMAN LIVE is a visually stunning, state-of-the-art production, that brings Batman, a host of iconic characters, and the settings from the famed world of DC comics, live and on stage for the first time in North America.
“Batman is more than a comic book character, he’s a cultural phenomenon. We are excited to bring him and his world to the stage, live, for the very first time with this incredible arena show,” said Brad Globe, President, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “In fewer than four years, the show has gone from concept on paper to successfully touring through Europe and Latin America. It is now our very special privilege to bring this show to the United States and North America – home to Batman and Robin.”
Following Anaheim, the tour will travel to Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN; HP Pavilion at San Jose, CA; Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA; Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV; Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK; Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM; World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO; Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO; and additional cities all over North America that will be announced in the coming months.
BATMAN LIVE, produced by Nick Grace of Water Lane Productions, features impressive stunts, pyrotechnics, illusions and video screen sequences. “BATMAN LIVE is a totally unique experience – a completely new way to experience the world of Batman, and has become a must-see for fans everywhere,” said Grace. “This is not a musical but a live show with a thrilling Batman story, filled with action that appeals to adults, teenagers, kids and families. We are proud to have this opportunity to bring to life the story of one of the most popular DC Super Heroes in the world today.”
With a 42-member cast, BATMAN LIVE has a new, original storyline that features Batman, his trusty counterpart Robin, tireless butler Alfred and a host of other favorite Batman characters. Additional favorites include villains such as The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and The Penguin. The action takes place in several settings from the famed stories, including Gotham City, Wayne Manor, the Batcave, and Arkham Asylum.
“What is compelling about Batman is that he's one of the rare super heroes who actually doesn't have super powers – he's human just like you or me,” said Jim Lee, Co-Publisher, DC Entertainment. “But through sheer determination, he has honed his mind and body to a level that makes him second to none and that's an aspiration we can all relate to and be inspired by. To that end, this spectacular live show delivers an amazingly authentic experience which actually underscores how real Batman could be while entertaining both parents and kids alike.”
“There’s no place on earth that doesn’t know who Batman is – he’s not just one of the most iconic super heroes ever created – he is one of the most iconic characters in history – and has had more stories told about him than just about any other character, period,” said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment. “What’s cool to me about BATMAN LIVE is that when you first come into the arena you see the three-dimensional cityscape and you hear the sounds of the city – you‘re really entering Gotham in a way you can’t experience anywhere else. You are an active participant in the story and a real part of Batman’s world.”
As audiences enter the arena, they are greeted by a 3D Gotham City landscape complete with buildings, soundscape, and video animation, setting the scene for the story to come. The magnitude of the production becomes apparent the first moment a full symphonic score is heard and a 105-foot bat-shaped LED video wall comes to life, enhancing the action on a custom-built stage. Another exciting element is the eye-catching, all-new Batmobile, designed especially for the show by legendary racing car designer Professor Gordon Murray, who’s known for designing racing cars for some of the most successful teams in the world for Formula One racing as well as the famous McLaren F1 road car.
Adapted from the DC Comics characters and stories, BATMAN LIVE focuses on Robin’s quest for justice, which leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero – the mysterious vigilante known as Batman - much to the dismay of his protective guardian, billionaire Bruce Wayne, whom the audience knows is secretly Batman. BATMAN LIVE is, at its heart, a poignant coming-of-age story. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson must learn to overcome their own fears and forge their own family – with the help of Police Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth – if they’re going to survive the combined forces of Batman’s larger-than-life rogues’ gallery, some of the most famous and beloved villains of the 20th century.
Allan Heinberg is the writer of BATMAN LIVE, who found the emotional heart of the show that tells the story and celebrates Batman and Robin --- The Dynamic Duo. Heinberg said, “The creative team met every expectation of how to tell this story, and surpassed it. We brought Gotham City to life in a way that I have never experienced before in any movie, or any television show, or any comic book. It is very faithful to the comic books – and it is all heightened – you are there in person – and you are sharing this experience with an enormous arena audience. It’s live and it’s happening all around you. And it’s something that people have never seen and will never forget!”
The action of the show becomes a non-stop thrill ride across Gotham City that transforms Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson into the legendary crime-fighters, Batman and Robin. The adventure transports the audience from the Big Top of Haly's Circus to the depths of Arkham Asylum, and from the glittering peaks of the Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge to the subterranean wonders that await inside the Batcave. Acrobats suspending in the air, The Joker’s henchmen in choreographed fight sequences, and stunning scenic elements are all part of the BATMAN LIVE experience.
BATMAN LIVE Creative Director Anthony Van Laast said, “It has been a thrilling journey for myself, the creative team and the company to develop the production from the early creative seeds, to the first day of rehearsals and now to a fully touring production. It is everything I hoped the show would be – exhilarating, impressive, exciting, dynamic and yet accessible – and I truly hope that the arena-going public have as much fun watching it as we have had making it.”
The acclaimed arena tour began on July 19, 2011 in Manchester, England, and toured throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America – and the critics have been ecstatic. The Times (UK) said, “It’s a wildly ambitious show that more than fills an arena space.” The Guardian said BATMAN LIVE has “plenty to thrill and chill the audience -- a two-hour extravaganza carefully crafted to delight small boys and raise frequent smiles and cheers from the grown-ups. The bat-fans roar their approval!” The Daily Telegraph said, “Kerr-pow! Batman’s a hi-tech hit. A live action drama, stuffed with dazzling special effects, retina-popping visuals and improbable feats of high-wire derring-do, all choreographed within a Catwoman’s whisper of perfection. And my two boys, aged 8 and 10, adored this show as much as I did.” And the Manchester Evening News said the show is “Mesmerizing. Entertainment doesn’t come any better than this.”
BATMAN LIVE is based on an original story created exclusively for the show. Creative Director is Anthony Van Laast and Co-Director James Powell. Production design by Es Devlin, music composed by James Seymour Brett, sound design by Simon Baker, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video production by Sam Pattinson, costume design by Jack Galloway. Circus sequences created, produced and managed in association with Circus Space with Bryan Donaldson and Juliette Hardy-Donaldson as circus consultants.
For more information, go to www.batmanlive.com
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.
BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.