One of the more offbeat takes on the Batman legend in recent years, 2018’s Batman Ninja transplanted the world of the Dark Knight into anime. Junpei Mizusaki took the directing reins in an animated film designed by Takashi Okazaki of Afro Samurai fame. It’s now being reported that we’ll be getting a live-action adaptation of the material, albeit not as a feature film, but as a stage play. While this may be disappointing for some wanting to see a niche Batman movie, a play is undoubtedly an intriguing prospect.
It’s fair to say that we weren’t too keen on Batman Ninja when the original animated version arrived a few years ago, which we put down as visually impressive but a bit of a mess in other respects. Still, the movie has been enough of a success for Warner Bros. and its Japanese partners on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming to justify a stage adaptation. News of the stage version comes from Otaku USA on Twitter, which reveals that the play will run in a Japanese theater from October to December 2020.
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More specifically, Batman Ninja will be brought to life at Tokyo’s Moliere Shinjuku between October 10th and December 31st, with production company Office Endless behind the action. The production, of which you can see a teaser image above, will somehow have to take the bizarre action of Batman Ninja, include a giant samurai monkey, and put it into something resembling a coherent (and practical) stage show. Based on what Batman Ninja ended up doing in animation, this could rival Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark for difficulty in stage adaptations.
Still, we’d like to see how Batman Ninja could work in live-action, even if it only appears to be running in Tokyo for the time being. At the very least, we hope that there’ll be some video clips of the performances to share, and that the final show hasn’t bitten off more than it can chew with the surreal source material.
Source: Otaku USA