Featuring additional content from the Batman: Soul of the Dragon animated feature from Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, this section includes exclusive content, imagery and more – all of which is focused on the production of Batman: Soul of the Dragon – strictly for archival purposes.
Bruce Timm talks Batman: Soul of the Dragon
The famed animation producer stopped by The DC Animation Forum, the official message board of The World’s Finest, and shared this story about the production of the DC Universe Movie Batman: Soul of the Dragon, particularly the use of Jade and her sword:
The sword was originally supposed to be Soultaker, but our friends at DC thought it would be too weird to have that sword in the movie without Katana too. We explained that we didn’t have room in the story for another high-profile DC martial artist no matter how much we like that character, and anyhow the thing with Katana and her sword isn’t like the exclusive bond between Thor and Mjolnir and even that supposedly unbreakable Nerd Law has been broken several times without the world coming to an end, and can we please just use Soultaker without shoe-horning Katana into our movie, pretty pretty please?
But no. Word came from on high: “No Katana. No Soultaker.”
Rats. Now what?
Fortunately, Jaunty Jeremy Adams did some speedy research on the internets and according to the the DC Wiki site, Soultaker was one of two mystic swords forged at the same time — kinda like Stormbringer and Mournblade from the Elric books, I guess — even though that second sword has never actually shown up in any canonical DC comic story, apparently, or even been given a name. So then my nerd neurons started firing like crazy and I free-associated from “Stormbringer” to “Stormbreaker” to “Soulbreaker”, the hitherto unnamed sister sword of the legendary Soultaker.
The Mighty DC Gatekeepers decreed, “Well, we still think it would be really neat if Katana was in the movie. But we’ll allow it.”
And that, o my brothers and sisters, is how sausage is made.
One other thing about that ending: We’ve used Bruce Lee’s famous ‘Come and get it’ gesture many times over the years. It became such an overused cliche’ that we actually wrote it into the script of “Grudge Match” on Justice League Unlimited, as way to make fun of it. Two villains in Roulette’s shabby little cage fight take turns using the gesture: ‘Come and get it’ – ‘No, you come and get it’ – ‘No, you’ – ‘No, you’ – etc.
I‘ve been careful to not use that gesture in any of my projects since. While we were breaking the story, Jeremy [Adams], James [Krieg] and I realized we needed to end the movie with our four heroes battling Evil for all eternity. In the excitement of the moment, I suggested ending the movie with Batman looking right into the camera, saying ‘Let’s get it on’ with a badass smirk on his face — and I instinctively made the ‘Come and get it’ gesture. Jeremy and James both exploded : ‘Oh my god, yes, that’s it!’ I tried to walk it back, explained why I didn’t want to actually use the gesture, how I’d over-used it on previous shows, etc. and they were both like, ‘But it’s the Bruce Less gesture, we have to do it!’ So, reluctantly I agreed to use it just one last time…
Oh wait! Crap, I forgot – I used that gesture after ‘Grudge Match’ one other ‘last time’ – In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, he does it to Superwoman, but he uses the claw-arm of a Power Loader to do it, which was just too good and goofy a gag to pass up.
Anyway, this time I mean it – never again!
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Original Press Release
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