If there is one thing DC does consistently well it’s their animated films. This medium allows them to adapt and present famous comic book storylines and new stories without giant budgets and metaling studio heads. DC animation has produced some tremendous work using the comic book mythos and has crafted their own entertaining and intriguing corner in the DC universe. The next original film on the docket for DC animation is about to make this corner a little bit bigger as we see the bat family grow in Batman: Bad Blood.
Batman: Bad Blood isn’t the introduction to the Batman’s newest villain, Taylor Swift. This is a story that starts off with the Caped Crusader missing in action. A new villain Heretic has entered Gotham and seemingly taken Batman out of the game. In the void of Batman’s disappearance Dick Grayson must take up the mantle of The Dark Knight, something he has been running from sense he left Gotham. With the help of Damien (Robin) and the last person to see Batman alive Batwoman, The Bat family must come together to save Gotham from this new threat and bring home the matriarch to their Bat-Family.
While Batman: Bad Blood is an original tale it does pull elements from past DC comic book story lines, we talked to producer James Tucker at New York Comic Con and here is what he said about Batman: Bad Blood’s influences and the reason we are getting this particular story.
“There are elements of different stories but Batman: Bad Blood is pretty much original. We use bits of Batwoman’s story; we use bits of the Batman Inc. finale. There are elements of a lot of things but it is an original story. It’s primarily a reason to introduce Batwoman and Batwing into animation for the first time.”-James Tucker, Producer
Tucker also mentions some other Batman stories he would love to bring to the animated universe, much like in the vain of the Gotham Knight Anthology.
“I want to do different styles, with different story shorts in one movie. I would do Gotham by Gaslight if it could be shrunk. I want to go back and do The Flashpoint Batman story; Knight of Vengeance because I really want to get that story out and maybe Red Rain. Someday.”-James Tucker, Producer
Batman: Bad Blood has the difficult task of expanding the Bat-family with two new characters never before seen outside of the comics’ medium. Batwing and Batwoman will make their debut and we had a chance to chat with character designer Phil Bourassa about what is was like bringing them from comic page to the small screen.
“Batwoman is almost like a one to one. Her look in the comics is so cool, its striking and its simple. Anytime there is a case like there where it just looks amazing in the comics unless there is some real story reason not to do it, we are going to do that. With Batwing they haven’t really hit the mark yet with the look in the comics. I haven’t really seen a design where I was like, that is the look. So we kind of did our own thing with that, we are always going to be faithful when it’s a great look but every now and then we help them out a little bit.”-Phil Bourassa, Lead Designer
While Batman is out of the action for the beginning of Bad Blood thanks to our new villain, we are still given the pleasure of hearing actor Jason O’Mara return for his fifth outing as the Caped Crusader. When asked how Jason gets into the mind set to voice Batman here is what he said.
“I practice in the car on the way to the studio in the mornings, sometimes if I’m hungry and go through a drive-thru I will practice it on whomever is taking my order, they don’t really know what the hell I’m doing but it works for me so that helps. I actually find I can’t really go from Bruce Wayne to Batman to Bruce Wayne, I need to just do everything as Bruce or everything as Bats first and then go back and do the other. Because it’s almost like a different character to me so I don’t skip around the script like that.”-Jason O’Mara, Actor (Batman)
Batman can always be a difficult character to portray but this is especially so if your voice is your only tool. Jason explains the difficulty he had trying to master the Dark Knights signature tone and the strain it put on his vocal chords.
“Batman can be difficult on the voices, (coughs and growls a bit). Initially it was because I was forcing it and it took quite a bit of work and some experience to find a way to do that without pushing. So now I can do it without straining my voice in a safe way, a way I can repeat it. I think that’s all part of the development process I experienced over the last few films and I think it’s getting more real, more natural and more nuanced as we go.”-Jason O’Mara, Actor (Batman)
It was obvious from our time at New York Comic Con with the cast and crew of Batman: Bad Blood that this story is in good hands. Both cast and creators have a passion for this character and his ever growing Bat-family that is undeniable. With each DC animated iteration we are given another beautiful, thoughtful and action packed story about characters we love. Batman: Bad Blood is poised to be no exception with a tremendous cast and crew and a story that pulls some of the past elements form Batman comics in the past 15 years. Batman: Bad Blood will give us a bigger Bat-family and more awesome Batastic characters and that’s never a bad thing.
Keep a look out for Batman: Bad Blood to hit shelves and Digitally Early 2016 from DC/WB Home Entertainment.
*Editors Note: Interviews were conducted by Mikhail Shlyuger at New York Comic Con 2015