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The World's Finest Presents


With Green Lantern's light shining bright once again on Cartoon Network, The World's Finest caught up with Josh Keaton - the voice of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: The Animated Series - to discuss the return of the Emerald Knight to the airwaves. Green Lantern: The Animated Series is back with all-new episodes, airing as part of the DC Nation programming block Saturday mornings at 10:00am (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network. Continue below for more!

The World's Finest: The first season of Green Lantern: The Animated Series kicks off with new installments starting Saturday, March 17th, 2012 at 10:00am (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network. Are you excited to see the show finally kicking off after a successful special preview back in November? What are your thoughts on the new Saturday morning timeslot?

Josh Keaton: I'm definitely excited. Even though I get to see some of the unfinished animation during ADR/pickup sessions, the first time I'm watching the final product is when it airs. I'm fine with the time slot. There was definitely something cool about having it be an evening/primetime show but I don't mind it being a Saturday morning cartoon. I have great childhood memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons!

WF: This is the first animated series focused solely on the Green Lantern mythos. What sets Hal Jordan apart from other comic book characters? And how approachable and accessible will Green Lantern: The Animated Series be as we dive into the first season, especially for casual and new viewers?

JK: Hal's confidence comes from something that he did before the ring found him, but a lot of other core qualities (like stressed family dynamic, isolation due to his power, etc) are shared with many other characters. Green Lantern: The Animated Series will have plenty of stuff in it for hardcore fans but does a really good job of laying everything out for those who are new to Green Lantern. There will also be recaps so if you've missed one you won't be in the dark about what's happening. Or you could not miss the show!

WF: The Green Lantern mythos are very expansive. What are the benefits of an ongoing animated series to explore these mythos, as opposed to a one-shot movie? When you think about it, the setting is pretty large-scale.

JK: Budget first and foremost. Frontier space is so vast and the worlds in it so numerous that there's no way one movie would have the budget to explore more than one. Second would be time. There's only so much you can fit into a 2-hour movie that still needs some kind of resolution at the end. It's much easier to more fully develop characters, relationships, and still have varied locales over the course of a season (or more!)

WF: Are there any challenges in tackling the role of Hal Jordan? How did you come to a decision on what you think your version of Hal should be?

JK: Oh definitely. Most of the roles I'm known for skew younger and I'd be lying if I said I had absolutely no doubt I could pull of the role. I really didn't want him to simply be an older re-hash of what I did in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Most of what I based my portrayal on was the Hal I read about in "Secret Origins." This is a guy who gave up pretty much everything (including his family) to follow his dream and fly, and gave up everything once again to be a Green Lantern. He's not infallible, but is definitely born to lead. Whereas my Spider-Man was still learning how to be comfortable in his skin, Hal is decisive, to the point, and flies by the seat of his pants, and my portrayal reflects his confidence in his decisions. Also, Hal can be funny, but I didn't really want the humor to feel as presentational as Spidey's. He's a military guy, from a military family and I wanted to make sure he kept a down-to-business military bearing. Well, unless ladies are around.

WF: There’s a lot of passion from the creative on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, hoping that fans give this show a fair shot. What is the atmosphere like when you come into play your part in the show’s production? Have you worked on shows that were less ... creatively-driven, and how did that compare to working on a show where the crew obviously care about the final product? If you haven’t, how does this passion benefit the final product?

JK: I'm working with a bunch of old friends on Green Lantern: The Animated Series and I definitely think that the rapport comes across. Kevin Michael Richardson and myself have become good friends over the years and that translates directly to our screen relationship. You definitely get a sense that Hal and Kilowog have been through a lot together. Aside from that, pretty much everyone who works on the show is a fan of the genre so it's easy for us to discuss story points and motivations to figure out how everything would be best performed. I think that passion for the genre is essential to making a good comic based, well, anything. These are characters that have been developed over decades.

WF: A big concern for fans are ratings for a series, but thankfully Green Lantern: The Animated Series' Saturday debut on March 3rd, 2012 pulled in a very healthy audience number. How instrumental are ratings to the work done on a show? Do higher ratings equal more creative freedom, or just the simple benefit of doing more episodes? How closely do you pay attention to the ratings on the shows you work on?

JK: Ratings are pretty much everything. I wouldn't say that higher ratings directly translate to creative freedom, but they definitely can lead to additional episodes which give the freedom to explore other stories. So, yes to both of those! I pay attention to the ratings but I have no idea what they mean. Saying something got a 3.9 doesn't mean a whole lot to me. Does that mean almost four people watched it? I sure hope not.

WF: To go off-topic for just a moment, I want to mention that The Spectacular Spider-Man debuted four years ago. For any fans who want to give the show a spin again, do you have any favorite episodes in particular that you would like to point viewers to?

JK: One of my favorites for story is "Intervention" but any of the Sinister Six episodes are awesome and there's one where Spidey gets bitch-slapped by Tombstone ... that's pretty wicked as well.

WF: You’ve played plenty of prominent characters during your career. How does it feel knowing that your voice will be associated with the likes of Green Lantern and Spider-Man to a new generation of comic fans and cartoon viewers? Is there any weight that comes with that distinction?

JK: Absolutely and I have a healthy respect for that distinction. It makes me work harder!

WF: To swing back on topic, new episodes of Green Lantern: The Animated Series kick up March 17th, 2012. What can we expect from the first season? With 11 episodes set for the first season, just how jam-packed will this season be? Tease and tantalize!

JK: Jam-packed is right. You'll see love, hate, betrayal, and redemption. You'll see ordinary people do extraordinary things, and hammers. Lots and lots of hammers.

"Green Lantern: The Animated Series" airs Saturdays at 10:00am (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network!



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