The Dark Knight descended on San Diego Comic-Con in the Beware the Batman panel. Voice Actors Anthony Ruivivar (Batman), JB Blanc (Alfred) and Producers Mitch Watson and Glen Murakami presented “Broken,” a brand new episode of the series featuring the villain Humpty Dumpty. After the episode, they took time to answer fan questions about the latest take on Batman.
What did you do to perfect the voice of Batman?
Ruivivar: It’s just a daunting task to take on Batman because he is so iconic. I didn’t spend so much time working on his voice as thinking about who the human being is. He’s a detective with a razor sharp mind that is 10 steps ahead of his adversaries. It’s really fertile soil for an actor.
How do you come to this new take on the Alfred character?
Blanc: We spiced him up a little bit and we gave him a deeper MI-6 history. I just flew by the seat of his pants and pitched a voice. But his relationship with Bruce is fundamentally true to the comics.
Murakami: We just thought he looked cooler. We wanted a different take on the character, and to not present him as the traditional dapper Englishman.
What are you doing with this version of Batman that has never been done with him before?
Watson: We were looking at it as going back to the beginning and exploring Batman’s noire/detective roots. Has the cape, the car and the gadgets but it also a really good detective. We wanted it to be something that people wanted to follow along instead of one long action show.
Murakami: We wanted the show to have a new take. We’re focusing on aspects that have been in the comics for years, but highlighting them more.
How did you come upon this style?
Murakami: We made the decision not to go deco or gothic in the design. Most of our favorite movies are from the 60s and 70s so we wanted to get that modern cinematic feel. We wanted to light the show more like a film but in CGI, you have to build the world first to see how you can light it. The process takes longer, but it makes the world seem bigger.
What do you look for in a villain for the series?
Watson: We had stories we wanted to tell with Batman, Katana and Alfred and we wanted villains that could highlight what was happening emotionally with the cast. Magpie’s multiple personalities provided a reflection to Bruce’s own two sides.
What will we learn about Bruce and Alfred’s relationship?
Watson: You see Alfred as Bruce’s butler, but he is also training him and helping him deal with the yin and yang of the relationship between Bruce and Batman. Alfred is aware of his own weaknesses and so he tries to protect his duty to Bruce’s parents. Alfred tries to make Bruce eat an actual meal, but all Bruce wants is a protein shake. He is much more street smart and will do what it takes to protect Bruce and Katana.
We saw Barbara Gordon in this episode. Does that mean we’ll see Batgirl?
Watson: Something will happen with Barbara, but I can’t tell you what it is. In the series, we get to see Babs from the very beginning and what happens when she pushes herself into places she shouldn’t.
Are we going to learn more about Katana and the League of Assassins?
Murakami: We are going to find out about her history with the League of Assassins and we’ll see what happens when the League discovers that she has stolen their most powerful weapon. We’ll explore the theme of secrets between old friends.
Can we expect to hear any guest voices?
Watson: Metamorpho will be played Adam Baldwin and Sapphire Stagg, played by Emmanuelle Chriqui. A familiar villain will show up, voiced by a famous actor but we can’t say who yet.
When will we see the Joker?
Watson: We’re not planning to touch a lot of the main rogues gallery. We are trying to let the show play as something new and different. Batman is confronting these villains for the first time and we get to see how his history starts with them.
Will you introduce original villains?
Murakami: Not this season. We talked about it, but for the first season we decided to use only use DC villains. We’ll go in a lot of different direction with the villains, especially with Anarky.
Will there be any other heroes like Superman or Green Lantern?
Murakami: There are going to be other heroes appearing in the series, but not the ones you might think. More are coming that are not traditionally thought of as heroes. They play both sides.
Who’s your favorite Batman villain?