While you were busy getting excited for Chris Nolan‘s ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ there’s been another ‘Dark Knight’ film in the works. Join us for a sneak peek at DC‘s animated adaptation of Frank Miller‘s ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’

One of the greatest graphic novels ever written, Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ tells the story of an aging Bruce Wayne (voiced by Peter Weller in the animated film) who’s become a boozy, reckless shell of his former self. His beloved city, and the one he swore to protect, has finally turned on itself, with gangs of violent criminals ruling the streets and any hope for salvation almost completely snuffed out as the public has shunned superheroes and driven them to retirement.

It’s one of the darkest Batman stories ever told, featuring the return of Two-Face (whose face is now fixed) and the Joker, who awakens from a catatonic state in Arkham and manipulates the system and the media with his feigned sanity in an effort to finally break the Batman down. The Joker’s arc is the most nerve-rattling, as he finds an older Selina Kyle, dresses her in a Wonder Woman costume and gags and beats her within an inch of her life.

But it’s also a moving tale of redemption. When Batman rescues young Carrie Kelley from a gang attack, she decides to become his new Robin, and the two fight their way to a better Gotham, putting criminals on their side and training them to be non-lethal agents of vigilantism.

It’s hard to say how this new animated film will tackle some of the hard(er) stuff, but this 12 minute sneak peek shows some early, rough animation that has us incredibly excited for what we consider to be more than just another animated Batman film. This is a legendary story, and one many fans (of Batman, comics, and superheroes) hold near and dear to their hearts.

‘The Dark Knight Returns’ is scheduled for release this fall.

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