|06-14-2004, 09:57 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2003
Local Time: 02:38 AM
Edge's THE BATMAN interview with Animation VP of Cartoon Network
The Batman Article__________________
Before we'll see Christopher Nolan's take on the Dark Knight next summer with Batman Begins, we'll be seeing the Caped Crusader in a new animated series. This fall on the WB and Cartoon Network, a new Batman cartoon will premiere called The Batman. We got a chance to talk with Sam Register, Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, the man who brought the anime-inflected Teen Titans cartoon to TV. We spoke about The Batman, fans who live in their mother's basement and Adam West.
UGO: Whose idea was it to do a new Batman cartoon?
SAM REGISTER: Since Warner Brothers has a new Batman movie coming out, they wanted another animated series. There was a pitch that I wasn't interested in.
UGO: What was that pitch?
SAM: It was something that I didn't want to do. I'm going to be nice about it. When they realized I didn't want it, I was asked what I would do. So that's when we came up with this cartoon from scratch.
UGO: What's it going to have in common with Christopher Nolan's Batman movie?
SAM: I wasn't allowed to read the script. We were just told the boundaries like: "Don't do that, it might be in the movie." The things that are in common is that the animated show and the movie are going to be different from any other animated show or movie before it. I think both are a little bit earlier in Batman's career. I think that was just by accident because no one told us to do that. That's about all I know. There could be many similarities. We'll just have to wait until the movie comes out.
UGO: You are most well known for taking the Teen Titans show to Cartoon Network. Is the new Batman cartoon going to have anything in common with Teen Titans?
SAM: Nothing! Teen Titans was us taking a character that people knew, Robin, and introducing the audience to a bunch of characters you and I may have known because we read those comics, but no seven or eight-year-olds would. We just wanted to make a great action cartoon for eight-year-old boys.
UGO: I think it was eight years ago that [Teen Titans co-creator] Marv Wolfman left the Teen Titans comic.
SAM: When I came aboard, that was the first thing I wanted to do because I was a huge fan of the Wolfman/Perez stuff. We created Teen Titans to be a younger kids' show. Teen Titans is for ages 6-8 and The Batman will be for ages 9-11.
UGO: How tough was it to get The Edge [guitarist and keyboardist of U2] involved?
SAM: It wasn't so hard because it turns out The Edge is a big Batman fan. We were putting out our feelers, and The Edge responded with a "Yeah!"
UGO: What comic book creators are going to be involved with the show?
SAM: I don't know all of the writers. I think there may be some comic book writers. The only one that I know that is a big comic book guy is Jeff Matsuda. He is the designer on the show. I'm a much more visual guy than I am a written guy, so when we started calling it The Batman, I had Jeff do designs before we even had a writer.
UGO: Will it be less dark than previous Batman cartoons?
SAM: Yes, it will be a little less dark. I think the version that Bruce Timm did with the original cartoon series was brilliant. I would call our series a little grittier.
UGO: Did you guys use Batman: Year One as a jumping off point?
SAM: There is a little of Year One in there and a little stuff from everything. In the colors, there is some Dick Sprang and some Adam West in there. I made sure that flames shot out the back of the Batmobile because I love Adam West. There is stuff from all of us fans in there.
UGO: Will the logo on his chest have the yellow symbol?
SAM: Yes, because we didn't want to redesign the costume. There are still all the same colors we know and love.
UGO: I heard that once Adam West has your number, he doesn't stop calling.
SAM: He does some voices on the show, and so far, he's been great.
UGO: How did you select Rino Romano as the voice of The Batman?
SAM: There were a couple of guys who were more well-known who were up for it, but we went with someone who wasn't as well-known but just had the best Batman voice.
UGO: How did Gina Gershon get involved as the voice of Catwoman?
SAM: She came in and we thought she did the best read. Except for Adam West, there was no one we went after.
UGO: Will this Batman be making a lot of mistakes?
SAM: Yeah. Since it is earlier in his career, he still kicks ass, but he's going to be meeting all the villains for the first time. So in the first episode, he will be meeting The Joker. I would say that this Batman is in his mid-20s.
UGO: You could have built off the previous Batman cartoons. Why didn't that happen?
SAM: The difference is that I'm making superhero shows for kids. I want younger kids to love Batman. If the 25-year-old guys who live in their mother's basement also happen to like this Batman, that's great. But it's not for them.
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