In the past few days, we've gotten a TON of e-mail from readers, asking us if we saw the news. An article at AgentDVD magazine
contained a story about the recent Blu-ray release of Batman: The Movie
, starring Adam West and Burt Ward, and based on the late-'60s television series. In their article, the magazine had talked with Adam West via phone, and at the bottom of the story it had this to say:
West also revealed that he’s working on a complete-series DVD collection for the original “Batman” series. He says fans will be pleased with his backstage revelations in the special features.
magazine is usually published online, but they had a special print edition distributed last weekend for the San Diego Comic-Con. As that magazine was passed around the convention hall, Bill Hunt's contacts told him about this info (apparently without mentioning AgentDVD
as the source of the info), and Bill naturally passed the news along at his site, The Digital Bits
Here's one quick little DVD news tidbit worth noting: We've heard from reliable sources that Adam West is now working on special features for the 1960s TV version of Batman. So it looks as if Fox and Warner may have finally made peace over the series' long-awaited DVD release. Fingers crossed.
By the time that had been posted, we had already heard the news and were checking with our contacts at Fox Home Entertainment. The initial response was that the rights issues holding up the release were "not close to being worked out," which was naturally the opposite of what we expected to hear! We've asked about it further with the studio, and a spokesperson at Fox informed us of the following:
There are currently NO plans to release the TV series. Mr. West is working on compiling his own DVD of home videos and interviews. Last we spoke he was shopping it around to distributors.
That information makes quite a bit of sense. It seems that the information AgentDVD
had was essentially correct, just incomplete. The same goes for the info at The Bits, too: Adam West IS working on "special features" for the series, he's just doing it without the actual episodes from the series, and without involvement from Fox. We've learned more about the details of what West is planning:
The release is tentatively going to be called "Adam West: The Batman Diaries
." It's described as an episode-by-episode guide to the series. As we said, he's essentially working on this by himself, to provide some form of "behind the scenes" material about the classic program, while he's still around to do just that! The hope, we understand, is to design it in a way so that people who have been industrious enough to tape the entire series from on-air broadcasts, can use this release and follow along with it, as with any other kind of DVD "extras." There's also an intention to make this usable as a stand-alone release, for the rest of us less-industrious folk.
So, to sum it up (and to break all of our hearts in the process):
- No, the episodes from the live-action '60s Batman television program are NOT coming to DVD (or any other home video format) at this time.
- Yes, the rights are still tied up in various rights/legal issues, so there could be no legally authorized releases in any form.
- Yes, the theatrical film that debuted between the first and second seasons of the series is available on both DVD and hi-def Blu-ray Disc, including participation on extras from Adam West.
- Yes, Mr. West is also working on finding a distributor for his own DVD release, a behind-the scenes look at the show called Adam West: The Batman Diaries (no pricing or date has been set, since he hasn't signed a partner yet to help him bring that to retail).
- No, that release will not include any episodes of the show on it.
- But yes, it's still a good thing, because at least we'll have Mr. West's insight into the show, recorded forever. Yes, that's a VERY good thing!
Stay tuned and we'll fill you in more about any DVD releases of Adam West: The Batman Diaries
, as more word comes in about it. And don't worry: IF the tangle of legal issues (between Fox, DC Comics and a number of other entities) for the actual episodes themselves ever gets unraveled, we'll certainly let you know!