“Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Producer James Tucker Exclusive Interview

In this exclusive interview, Tucker discusses the remaining second season episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, whats coming for the third and final season, thoughts on censorship, the video game, and much more. Please continue below to read this Q & A interview, exclusive to The Worlds Finest. New Batman: The Brave and The Bold promotional images are also included.

Please note that some of these questions were asked before the September 2010 premiere of the two-part The Seige of Starro Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode.

The Worlds Finest: Does The Siege of Starro set-up future stories for the series? What can we expect in the coming weeks on Batman: The Brave and The Bold?

James Tucker: After the Starro story is done, we get back to our usual anything goes type of stories. We have a great Flash family story coming up that explores the idea of legacy heroes, which is one of the aspects of DC characters that I love. On other shows, wed shy away from saying there was more than one version of any of the characters, but on Batman: The Brave and The Bold, I love the idea that were embracing the whole geeky DC universe of multiple characters with sharing the same name! The Flash story was a lot of fun and will feature an Outsiders teaser where theyll finally appear in the traditional costumes comic fans know and love.

After that, we do our take on The Doom Patrol. It will be a treat for Doom Patrol fans because almost every scene has some bit of Doom Patrol trivia in it. We were really pleased with how it turned out. Also, the teaser features none other than Batgirl (Babs) and her first encounter with the Caped Crusader.

Im not exactly sure of the order of the shows that follow since theyve been finished for quite a while now, but they will include our adaptation – and I use that term very loosely – of Emperor Joker. It doesnt have anything much in common with the comic book story other than Joker gets magical powers, but it features the return of Batmite to Batman: The Brave and The Bold. And, yes, The Joker sings!

Our version of the Birds of Prey debuts in an episode titled The Mask of Matches Malone. The teaser has a character whos a personal favorite of mine: Black Orchid. I always thought she was really cool visually, so it was a blast to bring her to animation. And, yes, there is a song in this episode as well.

WF: It has been stated that Batman: The Brave and The Bold is about to get very weird and very strange, with some very wacky episodes coming this season and next. Beyond the set of new episodes set to air this fall on Cartoon Network, any hints on what we can expect beyond that? Care to expand?

JT: I think wacky was too strong a word. Hi-concept would be the word Id prefer. The episode that most typifies that will no doubt be Batmite Presents: Batmans Strangest Cases since its a huge departure from a show that makes taking huge departures the norm. Basically, Batmite hosts an episode and screens his favorite lost gems of Batman lore. So we start with an adaptation of the famous Mad Magazine Batman parody Batboy and Rubin. We basically translated the story panel for panel and its a lot of fun. Non-comic fans may not get it at all, but we did it anyway.

The next segment features a Batman done in the style of the 60s Batman manga produced by Jiro Kuwata. Basically, we did a What if this Bat-manga had been made into an anime series in the mid 60s? We tried our best to recreate that look of a 60s anime show.

Finally, one of my more early memories of Batman on television was the Scooby-Doo Mysteries that featured Batman and Robin. So, after I got tired of Michael Jelenics constant nagging to do a Scooby-Doo appearance on Batman: The Brave and The Bold, we decided to create our own version of classic Scooby-Doo featuring the Dynamic Duo. We even added another very special guest star that I wont name right now. This episode took almost as much work as Mayhem of the Music Meister but I think the finished show was worth it.

WF: With a set number of episodes remaining, meaning you know how many episodes you and your crew have to play with, does that change how youre going to approach them? Can you now set-up a specific final episode of the Batman: The Brave and The Bold, for example? Perhaps youll make sure certain episodes are told? Any you can share?

JT: I have mixed feelings about series finales. Shows with locked down endings can limit their timelessness with viewers whereas a show that doesnt have a definite end can be almost immortal in the minds of the public. When we knew we probably werent going beyond Season 3, we knew there were certain stories we wanted to tell before we ran out of time, such as a Superman-themed episode as well as a Trinity episode [with Wonder Woman and Superman], and even though were close to recording our final episode, I still get ideas for episodes that I wish we had more time to do. But I never say never, so who knows? I may still get a chance to do them down the line.

WF: The first 52 issues are wrapping up on Cartoon Network, with only a handful remaining to air over the next few weeks. What can fans expect in episode #52, and what is the episode title?

JT: Im not sure what episode will actually air, but the last one in the production order was The Malicious Mr. Mind. Obviously, its Marvel family themed episode. Its a fun, action-packed episode befitting the featured characters and feature the introduction of The Monster Society of Evil. Originally I wanted to call it Meet the Marvels, but thought better of it given that theyre DC characters!

WF: Cartoon Network recently pulled the episode “The Mask of Matches Malone” due to re-editing the ‘Bird of Prey’ song sequence for content, and is slated to air said episode at a later date. Is this the first time this has happened on the series? What is your train of thought when you learn that an episode has to be re-edited to get it past BS&P? Will we ever see the ‘uncut’ version of this episode?

JT: After the song premiered in Australia and was so heavily commented via the message boards online, I assumed there would be some changes to it before it aired here. As it stands now, only one shot was altered and I really think its an improvement. When Michael Jelenic wrote the song for the episode, our intention was to do a Cole Porter-type song, fun, sophisticated and with clever wordplay. So I see anything that adds to the wit of the song as an improvement. The new shot is just better across the board and I wish I had storyboarded it that way to begin with. When I think about the re-edit that had to be done on the first version of the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker DTV based due to censorship, I dont consider this a big deal. As far as if well ever see the uncut version? Well, I have my copy.

WF: Would you consider doing a direct-to-video Batman: The Brave and The Bold animated feature? If so, what type of story do you think would be the best for it?

JT: I would love to do a direct-to-video for Batman: The Brave and The Bold! In fact, I really wont consider the series really finished until weve done one. I feel theres still a good deal of juice left in the show and that theres definitely room for a DTV. At the end of second season Michael Jelenic and I were talking about what wed do if asked. At the time we were thinking using Superman and Wonder Woman for a direct-to-video but since then the rights have cleared, thanks to DCs Legal department, and theyre are appearing in Season 3. We even toyed with the idea of doing another full-scale musical. At the longer running time, that would be fun. Mayhem of the Music Meister was just the warm up. And of course, Id want to cram as many guest stars in it as possible. But as of today we have not been approached about doing a DTV. If the sales of the series volumes do well perhaps we will. Fingers crossed!

WF: Heading into the final 13 episodes, episodes #53 – 65, how far into production are you on them? When can we start to see them and do you have any specific goals in mind for these last Batman: The Brave and The Bold stories?

JT: I just finished editing our second episode yesterday, on November 3rd, 2010, so the post production process is just beginning. I have no idea when they ultimately will see air. Thats Cartoon Networks call. As far as any specific goals, we didnt go into this season with an agenda. There isnt a season arc, per se. With only 13 episodes to go, we just wanted each episode to be totally unexpected and different from the one that came before it. So expect the unexpected!

WF: To step off-topic for a sec, and to plug the new (and awesome) Batman: The Brave and The Bold The Videogame, who from your creative team worked on the videogame? Did it eat into the shows production? What type of hand did you have in the game? Andhave you had the chance to give it a spin?

JT: Well, I wasnt involved with the game at all. I really was too busy producing the series. But we met with great team who produced the game at Warner Brothers Interactive and I knew it was in good hands. They totally understood the tone of the show from the start, so I totally stayed out of the production of the game. I know that Michael Jelenic wrote and Ben Jones and Mike Goguen, our directors, directed and storyboarded the online trailer for the game and it was hilarious. I love looking at it! And yes, I actually went out and bought a Wii, just so I could see for myself what kind of job they did and I was blown away. Absolutely loved it, and Im not much of a video game guy, so thats saying a lot. They totally nailed the feel of the show and in fact it felt like I was playing an episode of the series. I hope that even if we arent going to have a fourth season, that someone decides to continue making more of the games based on the show.

WF: To keep off-topic for a second, is it too early to ask for hints on the next Batman CGI animated series you are working on?

James: Way too early!

WF: To wrap things up, can you give us one last plug for Batman: The Brave and The Bold? Why should we tune in on Fridays for it?

JT: Tune into Batman: The Brave and The Bold because its good, clean, unpretentious, All-American (and the rest of the world and known galaxy) fun!

The World’s Finest would like to thank James Tucker for his participation in this interview.

The next new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode, titled “Knights of Tomorrow!,” is scheduled to air Friday, November 19th, 2010 at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network. Video clips and other episode content for Batman: The Brave and The Bold “Knights of Tomorrow!” are available to view here at our Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite.

In additional Batman: The Brave and The Bold news, DC Comics is releasing a new trade collection of the spin-off Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic title to hobby and retail shops today, November 17th, 2010. The collection features stories based on the Batman: The Brave and The Bold animated series. Details on this new trade paperback release are available below.

Batman: The Brave and The Bold – The Fearsome Fang Strikes Again

Written by: Landry Q. Walker, J. Torres
Art by: Eric Jones, Carlo Barberi and others

The Story: Batman battles evil in these adventures from Batman: The Brave and The Bold #7-12, with the help of heroes including Green Arrow, Catman, the Doom Patrol, The Atom, Adam Strange and more, along with appearances by Two-Face, The Joker and more! Cover price is $12.99US.

New episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold air Fridays at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network, and Fridays at 7:00pm (ET) on the Canadian network Teletoon. Stay tuned for further Batman: The Brave and The Bold updates here soon at The World’s Finest, including exclusive content and much more.

Discuss this in The DC Animation Forum!

In further news, The World’s Finest and WaterTower Music have teamed up to give fans the opportunity to receive a free copy of the The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection CD release from WaterTower Music. Running until November 19th, 2010, The World’s Finest will be giving away ten copies in total of the The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection Soundtrack CD release to ten lucky recipients, courtesy of WaterTower Music.

The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection is now available on Amazon, iTunes and other digital music retailers. The soundtrack is available as both a digital download (Click here for iTunes!) and an Amazon-exclusive compact disc release (Click here to purchase!).

To enter, simply send an email to bbeyond@yahoo.com – including your full name, full mailing address and phone number – by Friday, November 19th, 2010. Please label the email “The Music of DC Comics CD Contest.” Only one entry per person, per household will be accepted. From there, ten entries will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of the The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection CD release from WaterTower Music. Please note this special giveaway is only available to residents of the United States of America. Only those randomly chosen to receive a copy of the CD release will be notified via email shortly after the closure of the contest. Please note the terms and conditions of this special giveaway are subject to change without notice.

Official details for the The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection CD release from WaterTower Music are available here. The Music of DC Comics: 75th Anniversary Collection is now available on iTunes, Amazon and other digital music retailers as both a compact disc release and a digital download.

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