While the pre-overhaul Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark seemed somewhat avant garde, maybe even surreal, with its eight-legged spider goddess, Swiss knife-inspired villainess and DayGlo Goblin, the upcoming Batman Live struck me as pretty straightforward: For all of its bullet-time effects, the first trailer for the arena tour looked like someone had simply translated Batman: Hush into a live-action production.
But then today England’s Liverpool Echo released a four-minute sneak peek of the show, and “straightforward” went right out the window. The sequence, bathed in black light, is somehow both languid and manic, with Batman confronted first by a gigantic head of Joker, and then by his minions — who form the teeth of the demonic maw before dropping down and rolling onto the stage. The scene turns even more disturbing as the henchmen form into some kind of psychedelic majorette troupe that’s seen too many performances of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk. All the while, Dick Grayson is being held captive in … a big hamster ball.
Watch the trailer after the break (you won’t be sorry). Batman Live opens July 19 in England, and then finds its way to North America in August 2012. After seeing this delirium-inducing preview, all I can say is it can’t get here soon enough.