The World’s Finest presents the latest in a series of studio-conducted interviews, provided by Warner Home Video, for the Batman: Year One direct-to-video animated feature. Continue reading below for an interview with actor Bryan Cranston as he discusses his major role in the new DC Universe Animated Original Movie title. The studio has also provided new images and a clip from the animated feature, along with six interview video clips with Crantson. The first seven images below consist of six interview clips and the movie clip, presented in the Quicktime format, all available by clicking the first seven thumbnails below. Click on the other thumbnails below for larger images.
Breaking Bad stars gritty performance is key to DC Universe Animated Original Movie
on Blu-ray, DVD, OnDemand and for Download today from Warner Home Video
Three-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston flips to the other side of the law as the voice of Lt. James Gordon for the animated retelling of Frank Millers landmark comic in Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated Batman: Year One arrives today October 18, 2011 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download.
Cranston earned Emmy Award nominations in three of his seven years as the lovable, goofy father on Malcolm in the Middle. It took a shift toward the dark side as chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer Walter White in AMCs Breaking Bad to start a record-tying run as only the second actor in history to score three consecutive Emmy wins.
As Lt. Gordon, Cranston gets to find a middle ground between his two best known roles providing a moral center for the gritty tale of two men striving to bring their own idea of justice to an unjust world.
Cranston is joined in the stellar voice cast by Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) as Batman, Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as Detective Sarah Essen. Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone.
Following his initial recording session for Batman: Year One, Cranston had the chance to discuss his thoughts on initially turning down the role of Jim Gordon, his love of the inner monologue, the inward journey afforded by comic books, his chances of one-day playing a certain Edwrd Nygma opposite a live-action Dark Knight, and much more. The man has won three Emmys he obviously has important things to say. Read on
QUESTION: You were Warner Bros. first choice for the role of Jim Gordon, but the feeling wasnt mutual you initially declined. What made you change your mind?
BRYAN CRANSTON: I always talk about the writing Ive gotten to a point in my career where I dont want to just take a job, I want to be part of great storytelling. I always say that I dont care if its a childrens play, Ill do it so long as its great writing. Ive done some animation work and, quite frankly, I havent loved all of it. So when they first offered this to me, I turned it down. I didnt want to do something that I just assumed was goofy or cartoony.
Fortunately, my representatives convinced me that I needed to give this material a fair shake and Im so glad they did. I had no idea that animation could have such depth and sophistication. This is adult storytelling, handled in intrinsically adult ways. Its interesting and thoughtful and dark and nothing that I thought Id find in an animated script.
Jim Gordon is trying to find his moral center. He keeps getting shot down. He doesnt want to work in this hellhole of a city, hated by his fellow cops, hated by his superiors. His wife is pregnant and hes conflicted about bringing a child into this troubled world. Hes on an island. I was really surprised in a good way. This script was well-written, unpredictable, good storytelling. And so I happily ate my hat because Im so glad they forced me to read it.
QUESTION: The name in the film’s title is Batman, but this is just as much Jim Gordon’s story, isn’t it?
BRYAN CRANSTON: What I was first attracted to in reading Batman: Year One was that James Gordon actually is the star. That’s the way I look at it, anyway. That was really unexpected, especially the way hes portrayed. My first experience with Batman was through the comics, but the Batman television series really had an impact. So I thought, Oh, Gordons an old Irishman with that big, thick over-the-top brogue. But there was no comic book silliness there were twists and turns, darkness and light, and truly human mistakes that Id never anticipated. And its as much Jim Gordons story as it is a story about Batmans origins.
QUESTION: So is this your chance to finally put that education in police work to use?
BRYAN CRANSTON:(laughs) In thinking about James Gordon, basically I used my own background. I went to college to become a police officer. There’s a certain similar decorum that all police officers have its a skepticism and a curiosity and a bit of cynicism, too. And what I found in reading the script was that all those elements seem to be in place for the character. So all I wanted to do is to bring out that sensibility and make him real. He has to be a real guy, someone you believe could be this police officer, in order for you to accept the plight and the dismay that he’s going through, and trying to do the right thing in a city that is surrounded by corruption.
QUESTION: So all that time on Malcolm In The Middle, playing that great dad, you really were just waiting for some truly dark roles to present themselves?
BRYAN CRANSTON: Malcolm In The Middle was a great seven years. We had a great time. And I think what made that story work is that at the core you had a real family that was striving to do the right thing. And when you look at what Gordon is to Batman: Year One, he is a guy who’s still striving to do the right thing. Anytime you have that, an audience will even allow you to do the wrong thing if they know that you’re trying to do the right thing. So they’ve got you. It’s like they know that, at the core, you’re a good person, and that’s what he is. So when an issue comes up that forces him to walk a fine line between what is right and what is wrong, and certain things pull him in one direction or the other, the audience empathizes with his struggle. That makes it interesting.
QUESTION: What makes Batman an interesting character to you?
BRYAN CRANSTON: As a character, Batman is someone who has a righteousness about him. And yet, it’s not pure. He is a vigilante. He’s taking matters into his own hands. So you could say that he’s doing good things, but I don’t know that you could say he’s a good guy because of the manner that he approaches his actions. That’s what always makes characters more interesting, that they walk the line of good and bad.
QUESTION: Was there any element of the script that you particularly enjoyed?
BRYAN CRANSTON: I didnt have any particular favorite lines or scenes, but what I really appreciated about doing Lieutenant Gordon was the inner monologue. I don’t remember having (a role) that had that kind of sensibility that allows the character to be honest and open, vulnerable, and let the audience then determine if they’re welcome into this man’s soul or not. So that was probably my favorite part to be able to have that running inner monologue going on, which I find fascinating.
QUESTION: Whats your take on comic books?
BRYAN CRANSTON: To a kid growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, comic books were pretty much one of the only written material that was a diversion for kids. There were three television stations, and movies were few and far between as far as access to them. So you’d get together with your friends and you’d open up comic books when you got tired of playing football in the street, or baseball or whatever. And then you’d allow your imagination to go and to wonder. And the great thing about comic books is that it allows the reader to be his or her own art director. You can see a glimpse of Gotham behind in the tall buildings and you start to imagine the heights of the building, Batman looking down. And when he swoops down, you put that all into your head and fill in the blanks. Sometimes in the comic books, it appeared to me like it was like an impressionistic painting. Where (you thought), What’s that in background? I can’t quite make out what that is, but it feels real. So you fill in the blanks, and that makes it more interesting and like you’re a part of the storytelling itself.
QUESTION: Must you take a different acting approach when playing a real-life individual or a fictional icon as opposed to a character specifically written for the page?
BRYAN CRANSTON: Yes. You approach each character with a little different idea of how and what you need to shape him. I played Buzz Aldrin in From The Earth To The Moon about the Apollo project for HBO, and that I did approach differently. This is a real person, an American hero, a worldwide hero, and he’s still alive. And there’s something in the back of your head that says, I really want him to be proud of this. I want him, above all else, to be able to say that I gave an honest depiction of the sensibility of what was going on then and who I was at that time. I think thats, in a sense, the same when working with an iconic figure like Jim Gordon in Batman: Year One. Everybody has a pretty good idea of Gordon who he is and how he sounds so you can’t go too far against that grain. You need to be in the ballpark. Hes an established character, but the script will give you a good idea of how far you can stretch here or there.
QUESTION: There are a few fan sites spreading a rumor that you’re going be the The Riddler at one point or another in a live-action Batman film. Any truth in these rumors?
BRYAN CRANSTON: I would love to be able to jump into a character like that whole hog and play The Riddler. That would be fun. Although I haven’t been lobbying for that, and there’s a certain part of me that is really fatalistic about (rumors like) that. Its like, if it’s supposed to happen, then it’s supposed to happen. But I can only say that I’d be interested in playing something like that and see how it turns out.
Additional content is also available at the The World’s Finest Batman: Year One micro-site. A review of the Batman: Year One Blu-ray release and animated feature can also be found at The World’s Finest.
Click on the links below to discuss both the new Batman: Year One animated feature and its respective DVD and Blu-ray home video releases, along with the included DC Showcase: Catwoman animated short.
A co-production of Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the direct-to-video Batman: Year One animated feature is now available to own on Blu-ray disc and DVD from Warner Home Video, as well as legal download. Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The Worlds Finest.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today issued a new press release for the Batman: Arkham City video game, now available in North America for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Games for Windows PC and the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. Also included are four new images to promote the release of the highly-anticipated video game title. Please click on the thumbnails images for a closer look.
Become the Dark Knight in Rocksteady Studios Highly Anticipated and
Critically Acclaimed Videogame Available Now in North America for Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 system
The wait is finally over for fans to don the Batsuit again! Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced that Batman: Arkham City, the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated videogame developed by Rocksteady Studios, is now available at retailers in North America for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. The Games for Windows version will be available beginning Nov. 15, 2011.
Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players flying through the expansive Arkham City five times larger than the game world in Batman: Arkham Asylum the new maximum security home for all of Gotham Citys thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Featuring an incredible Rogues Gallery of Gotham Citys most dangerous criminals including Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze and many others, the game allows players to genuinely experience what it feels like to be The Dark Knight delivering justice on the streets of Gotham City.
Batman: Arkham City builds upon the critical and commercial success of Batman: Arkham Asylum and firmly solidifies the Arkham brand as a triple-A action adventure franchise, said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Rocksteady has developed a game that includes all the makings of a blockbuster immersive story, memorable characters and outstanding gameplay, and we are very proud to bring the game to players around the world.
“Getting to work in the Batman universe again has been a privilege for us at Rocksteady Studios. We have worked tirelessly to take Batman from the Asylum into the heart of Gotham City and to deliver the game The Dark Knight deserves, said Sefton Hill, Game Director at Rocksteady Studios. The response so far has been phenomenal and we can’t wait for everyone to experience becoming The Batman swooping through the streets of Gotham.”
Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, Batman: Arkham City introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new, all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay.
The game was written in collaboration with Paul Dini, Batman author and five-time Emmy Award winner whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series, and features the incredible voice talent of Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy. Both reprise their roles as The Joker and Batman respectively. Stana Katic of the popular series Castle joins the cast as the voice of Talia al Ghul.
Fans looking for the ultimate Batman: Arkham City package can purchase the Batman: Arkham City Collectors Edition, which includes extensive bonus content, including a custom Batman statue produced by Kotobukiya, a collectible art book, early access to the Iceberg Lounge Challenge Map and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns skin, Batman: Arkham City The Album featuring original music by top artists and a bonus DC Universe animated original movie, Batman: Gotham Knight.
Two official versions of a strategy guide for Batman: Arkham City will be offered by BradyGames a Signature Series and a Limited Edition. In addition, an iOS Map App for locating collectibles and a series of official strategy videos will be available through Brady’s iOS Strategy Feed app and through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360.
Players can also look forward to the Nightwing Bundle Pack on Nov. 1 and the Robin Bundle Pack scheduled for release on Nov. 22. The downloadable content will be available on Xbox LIVEMarketplace for 560 Microsoft Points and PlayStationNetwork for $6.99.
Batman: Arkham City is based on DC Comics core Batman license and rated T for Teen by the ESRB. Fans can visit www.batmanarkhamcity.com for more information about the game.
About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc.), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables, etc.) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world.
About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
About Rocksteady Studios Ltd
Rocksteady Studios is a multi-award winning videogame developer based in London, England. Located in a spacious, purpose built converted factory, with full motion capture and audio studio capabilities, Rocksteady is an energetic company formed by a core team of senior industry professionals. This creates an ideal balance of drive, talent, proven methods, experience and cutting edge technology to make AAA games. Now employing over 90 people, Rocksteady’s mission is to be a highly professional, efficient company whose purpose is to make great games, and have happy and healthy team members. This philosophy is the heart and soul of the company. Rocksteady received the coveted studio of the year award at the 2009 VGA awards.
Batman: Arkham City is now available for PlayStation3, Xbox 360, with the Windows PC version available November 15th, 2011. Click here for additional Batman: Arkham City content, including images and videos. Stay tuned for further updates.