|Backstage - Interviews - Press Q&A
Question: We have seen many versions of Batman over the
years. There are so many DC heroes to choose from, why
keep coming back to Batman?
Register: Batman is just a great iconic character. You
can reinvent him and he still holds up. From Adam West
to Tim Burton and now our new Batman: The Brave and the
Bold, he always "reads" as Batman. This is my flagship
show at Warner Bros. Animation, and it has turned out to
be the perfect vehicle to kick off my new role. I really
wanted do something that would introduce kids at a
younger age to super heroes in the same way I was. This
show reintroduces Batman to a whole new generation of
kids that have only seen the dark side. There is so much
more fun to be had with this character, and bringing
back the joy in animation is a big priority for us.
Question: You've all had a long history with Batman
over the years, working on many of the animated series.
What can we expect different and new from Batman: The
Brave and the Bold?
Tucker: The Brave and the Bold is going to take a more
light-hearted, action-oriented angle on the superhero
genre. It'll focus more on high adventure mixed with a
sense of humor than has been the trend lately in
superhero films and television shows. We'll be showing
different sides of Batman's character when he's dealing
with a different hero every week. There are lots of new
gadgets, new takes on villains and heroes -- with a
healthy dose of kid-friendly fun.
Question: Justice League was targeted at an older
crowd, and Teen Titans targeted the 'anime' fans. Who is
the audience for The Brave and the Bold?
Tucker: The target audience for The Brave and the Bold
is broadly based. Nevertheless, it works demographically
for 6-15 and still appeals to the hard-core
comic/animation fan. In addition, of course, we're
making it so that anyone who enjoys comic
books/superheroes and is a "kid at heart" will get
something out of it.
Romano: Hopefully a wide range of audience members,
people who are Batman fans and are interested in seeing
a version that's not as campy as the '60s TV series
(which I grew up watching, too), nor as dark as Batman:
The Animated Series, but somewhere in-between. I know we
have found a perfect blend that will appeal to viewers,
but just as importantly, be acceptable for parents and
the younger audience. Every child loves super heroes and
every adult remembers that feeling of excitement. Here
we truly capitalize on the great legacy of this classic
DC Comics character.
Question: This Batman has a strong "retro" look.
What's driving the (re)design of the character(s)?
Register: As executive producer, every now and then you
get a creator who is emotionally committed to a concept.
James Tucker's passion is the heart of this series and a
big part of what will drive its success. When we began
to mine the archives and toss around ideas, James was so
passionate about this look and going back into Batman's
early incarnations from the 40's and 50's, we knew we
were on to something. When there is passion and you give
someone the chance to create what they love, everyone
works harder, and as a result, the show is that much
Tucker: Basically, the look I wanted for this show was
to emphasize the old-school, comic book art look (notice
I didn't say graphic novel) or, rather, comics before
they got overly sophisticated and airbrushed. I wanted
the look of offset printing on newsprint. We went with a
thicker line around the characters to give it that truly
illustrated look. I originally storyboarded an
old-school segment in a New Adventures of Batman episode
called "Legends of the Dark Knight." It was so much fun
that I always said if I ever was tapped to do a
Batman-based series of my own that would be the visual
angle I wanted to use. I'm grateful that DC Comics,
Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network had the faith
to let me do it.
Question: The Brave and the Bold comic has been
around since 1955, and in the '70s became a showcase for
teamups with Batman and many DC characters. Will we see
any of those classic stories adapted for the new
Tucker: So far, we haven't done any literal adaptations
of those stories since we wanted to set our own tone and
establish some of the newer characters we're using like
the new Blue Beetle first. However, adaptations, where
appropriate, are definitely an option. This show is
about teaming up Batman with other DC dignitaries. These
characters, his peers, will all combine to bring out
different aspects of his personality. That allows us to
move past the dark vengeful brooding character he has
become and enjoy the lighter side. The sheer scale of
the DC animated universe provides us with opportunities
to bring in characters that have been overlooked and
deserve to come back -- as both friends and foes.
Question: Will this new series fit into any
established continuity with any of the other animated
series? (Justice League, Justice League Unlimited,
Batman: The Animated Series, etc.)
Tucker: We purposely avoided any potential DC animated
connections on this. Usually that's something as
producers that we can't help but do. The Legion show I
produced had a few. In addition, even in Superman
Doomsday, the Legion version of young Superman can be
seen briefly floating in the clone vats of Luthor's lab.
Conversely, we ended up using Superman Doomsday's
Fortress of Solitude in the Legion show. However,
Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a completely new
concept for the DC animated universe.
Register: It is also worth noting that we had enjoyed
great success "wiping the slate" with Teen Titans. Not
being trapped by continuity gave the creators and
writers of that series a fresh start for new storylines,
looks and characters. Fortunately, the audience embraced
it and we really wanted to emulate that process. With
every show, you have to recreate the wheel to make it
exciting, and it made sense to repeat the process here.
The end result is that Batman has a look and tone that
the fans are really responding to.
Question: Describe the Batman for the new Brave and
the Bold series. He seems less dark and brooding and
more of a fun-filled adventurer. How does this affect
the tone of the show?
Tucker: Well, the way you described it is pretty much on
the mark. This is just the version of Batman that has
been in the comics from shortly after his creation up
until some of the darker, grittier versions of his
character appeared in the late '80s and onward.
Typically, people start telling the story from where his
parents are murdered. That's not suitable for what is
deemed children's entertainment. This version signals a
return to a more innocent time. Batman is a crime
fighter and hero first. As a result, Batman can be
ironic he can show more sides of himself than if he's
just brooding, being gruff and distant to his usual cast
of characters. He simply has to be more approachable for
the premise of this show to work. Otherwise, why would
anyone even bother to work with him? It's pretty much
the Batman from the Brave and the Bold comics I read as
Romano: I absolutely agree. He is less "brooding," not
as obsessed with vengeance as in the past. One thing I
really like about the format of this series is that we
get inside his head, get to hear what he's thinking
before he acts. Diedrich Bader is the new voice of
Batman and has a great record of accomplishment doing
Question: What drew you to him for the Caped
Tucker: We wanted someone who was able to incorporate
the tough, hardened side of Batman with some warmth.
Diedrich's Batman is, at his core, a decent person with
high morals and a strong work ethic, whose prime
motivation is to defend the weak and innocent. Those
qualities really come out in Diedrich's voice work, and
it doesn't hurt that he's that kind of person in real
Romano: When I was given the breakdown for the casting
on this version of Batman, my first thought was Diedrich
Bader. He has the nice size and depth to the tone of his
voice, he has voiceover experience (we had already done
a series together), he's a good, versatile actor, and
he's great with comedy. After doing many auditions,
Diedrich was everyone's choice. There were several other
actors who were quite good, but Diedrich was clearly
everyone's favorite. On an interesting note, many of the
actors who auditioned for Batman and didn't get that
role have been cast in other recurring roles. We also
had to keep in mind that Batman is the only character
who appears in every single episode. He is the lead and
has to be perfect.
Register: Andrea and James brought Diedrich in as
Batman. He sounded heroic but there was a genuine sense
of fun. Andrea knows what a character needs and brings
great talent to the table to give them life. He is such
a great actor, I knew he would give us something, but
the performance was so fantastic. We knew he was the
Question: Any fan favorites coming back to do voices?
(For example, Mark Hamill as the Joker?)
Tucker: Andrea and I agreed that it would be wiser to
create unique voices for these versions of the
characters, especially when it came to actors who had
become indelibly identified with roles they had on
earlier incarnations like Batman: The Animated Series or
Justice League Unlimited.
Romano: However, that doesn't mean those actors won't be
doing other parts in the show. Creative takes by
seasoned professionals and exciting new actors can give
familiar characters new life. So, looking forward, there
will be appearances by many voice actors who have worked
with me before doing things you would never expect.
Question: Will we see Batman stay put in Gotham City
or will this series take him out of his comfort zone?
Tucker: Just like the original The Brave and the Bold
comic book, this show takes Batman out of Gotham on a
regular basis. We wanted to take advantage of how that
book would put Batman in different settings, from
Atlantis to Mars, in different eras jumping between the
future and the past, and across different genres from
sci-fi to thriller. It keeps the viewer guessing, and
quite frankly, it's more interesting to those of us who
are making the show.
Tucker: Eventually. Oh, and to kill speculation ahead of
time, it's Dick Grayson.
Question: Whom from the rouges gallery of villains
can we expect to see in the first year?
Tucker: Since this isn't strictly a true Batman show,
we're not going to deal with any of the usual Batman
rogues. That's not to say there won't be any.
Question: Batman has teamed up with just about
everyone at some point, either in the comics or in
animation. What sort of surprises can we expect, and
what would be your uberteamup for Batman?
Tucker: Of course, they wouldn't be surprises if I told.
I think that after the direction Batman's character has
taken in recent years, fans will find this more
old-school but still contemporary take on our hero to be
Question: What is your ultimate hope for this new
series? What do you think will be the reaction of Batman
fans to it?
Romano: There is never any way to judge how an audience
will react. Each time we try to be creative and give
each show its own distinct personality. I try to be sure
that I'm happy with the work we are doing and that we
are faithful to both the characters and plots. The best
part is that when we do it well, the fans
Tucker: Well, ultimately, I want it to be a huge hit! My
genuine hope is that it finds an audience with families
and people looking for a fun, action-packed take on
super heroes. These are quite frankly pretty depressing
times, and I think a fun, upbeat show is something that
is basically counter-programming to what we're dealing
with in real life. On a personal level, I'm really proud
of this show because it's true to the version of Batman
that got me interested in comics and superheroes in the
first place. It's been a dream project for me.
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