SUPERHERO NEWS


BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1 – MICHAEL MCKEAN

The Continuum continues its preview of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 with a studio-provided question-and-answer with Michael McKean, who voices Dr. Bartholomew Wolper in the DC Universe Animated movie arriving on Sept. 25.

Question: How did you come to think of Arkham Asylum psychiatrist Dr. Bartholomew Wolper?

McKean: Dr. Wolper is a very, very good shrink … if you ask him. He’s a guy who likes the sound of his own voice; he finds his ego very soothing, even though it seems a little ponderous from the outside. But he is convinced of his own genius, and definitely convinced that these poor, twisted souls who have been entrusted to his care are redeemable because he knows who the real bad guy is.

Question: And that “bad guy” is?

McKean: Wolper thinks that Batman is a social disease. He thinks that it is, in fact, Batman’s ego that is driving the crime wave in Gotham City. And he sets out to prove it. I don’t think he actually makes the case, but you can’t tell him that (laughs) … or anything else, for that matter.

Question: How did you approach playing this character?

McKean: My first impulse was Dr. Phil, but it didn’t work — it was too folksy. I think that a man whose ego is such a construct that it supersedes everything else around him, that’s kind of an interesting character to portray. There are some great examples in history. And I think a man who plays God — especially when it concerns human intelligence, human psyche, human emotions — he’s kind of like a prestidigitator. He’s the expert in the room, and when he tells you something is so, he expects you to believe it. And it’s only when he comes right up against the real world that it all falls apart.

Question: In addition to acting, you also direct. And you’ve worked with Andrea Romano on a number of projects. What makes Andrea so good at what she does?

McKean: Andrea Romano has a kind of a soothing, friendly personality, which of course masks a tyrant (laughs). Kidding, kidding. I think she’s an amazing talent and I trust her implicitly. Often if I’m directing, I’ll say, “Look, I won’t give you a line reading, but” and then I’ll try to make my case and get you to say what you’re supposed to say. As an actor, I actually ask Andrea for a line reading, because she knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s been doing it a long time, and she’s the best in the business. So I utterly respect her taste and opinion. And she’s also a great cheerleader — there’s never a time when I think “Geez, I don’t know what I’m doing here.” Even if I don’t know what I’m doing, she always convinces me that I do … and then she sets me straight (laughs). It’s kind of brilliant.

Question: Does being part of a Batman film have any personal significance for you?

McKean: When I was a kid, I adored the Bob Kane’s 1950s Batman. I liked the Superman comics and Justice League and Flash and the Atom — nobody does The Atom anymore, and that was a cool super hero — but I did love Batman. I loved the fact that they always found a way to stage the climactic scenes in a warehouse of gigantic toys, or huge oversized stuffed animals. And even as a kid, I sort of knew, “Well, (Kane) is sort of bored. He wants to draw something new other than just a street corner and a couple of guys fisting it out.” So I was a big comic book fan, and I loved the DC stuff.

When I went to college, the ABC series began airing. I was at Carnegie Mellon and I’ll never forget that everyone was looking forward to Batman and it was going to be the best thing ever. In those days, there was only one or two TV sets in the entire dorm. So we went down to the common room at McGill Hall and the show came on — and the minute the “pows” and “bams” and sound effects came on screen, the whole place went insane. Now these were all young men of ages 17 to 23, but suddenly we were all kids again. It was phenomenal. So it is kind of nice to revisit that (memory) by being in this film.

I also had the honor of playing the Joker in one of Mr. Timm’s episodes. Mark Hamill was doing the voice at the time, but they had a flashback to the 1950s,so I got to play the Joker in one episode. That was pretty exciting, too. And now it’s nice to be in a full-scale, class production like this.

Question: With all your years of comic book reading, and your interest in the super hero realm, do you have a character you’d most like to play or voice?

McKean: Comics actually taught me how to read. From the age of 3 or 4, my older sister would help me along with my reading lessons, telling me how to sound out words. Then I’d sit with my comics and really develop my reading. I remember that as I was reading comics, I had voices in my head for the characters. But I honestly don’t think I have one that I’d really want to take on. Maybe Bizarro Superman. That’d be fun to do.

Question: You’ve carved quite the resume of film, TV and stage performances, and yet you find time for a lot of animation voiceovers. For you, is that additional work … or working fun?

McKean: It is an awful lot of fun. The only time I don’t like voiceover stuff is if I have a ton of ADR work to do. I did a film called Short Circuit II, where I had a lot of scenes with a robot. And it was a real robot — it was operated off screen, but it really was a mechanical man. And, of course, they had the motors going at all times, Every move the robot made, there would be a noise with that movement. So every scene I had with this damn robot, which was about half the film, I had to loop everything. And that drives me crazy. But when you’re working with people like Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche — I did a bunch of Animaniacs and a couple of Pinky & the Brain episodes — those guys make it such a great party atmosphere. They’re so funny and so smart — just amazing people to work with. That’s the best part of the job.

Question: With so many memorable roles in your lengthy list of credits, what do people stop and ask you about the most?

McKean: I guess Spinal Tap, just because we keep coming back. We made the movie 25 years ago and occasionally we “tour” and make TV appearances and put out product. So people know me from that. Occasionally somebody will come up and say “You’re Gibby from Dream On,” not very often, but sometimes. Laverne and Shirley — not so much. That’s a long time ago, and we’ve all changed (laughs). And, of course, the last few pictures I made with Chris Guest. People love Best in Show. People always say the same thing to me about that film — they say, “You know, you and your boyfriend had the best relationship of all the couples in the film.” And they’re so totally right (laughs). We were made for each other. So that’s a lot of fun, too.

Question: Dr. Wolper is actually featured in both Part 1 and Part 2 of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Can you give us a little teaser of what to expect in the second half of the story?

McKean: The Joker is kind of Dr. Wolper’s pet patient. He is the most irredeemable, as far as society is concerned, which Dr. Wolper takes as a challenge. He’s thrilled and delighted when he sees the Joker making such progress, and he thinks that he’s done so well that the next step is to bring him out into the public to kind of show off his own work. It doesn’t go well.

 

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STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS: SEASON 5

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Lucasfilm has released a 3-and-a-half minute trailer and announced a

new time period for Season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

To watch the trailer,

CLICK HERE <clonewars.htm>.

The fifth season wll premiere on Cartoon Network on Sept 29 in the show’s new time period of Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.

Here’s how the new season is described:

“The shadow of the dark side falls upon Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Five as the series moves closer to the grim events of Star Wars:

Episode III Revenge of the Sith. The big-screen action, unforgettable characters, and rousing adventure of the Star Wars Sagacontinue, as Jedi heroes face a galaxy of foes. With unparalleled visuals, sound, action and adventure, Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues the cinematic saga with the equivalent of a short animated Star Wars movie each week. Season Five is filled with explosive action, exotic worlds, intriguing characters and shocking turns as several major players face their destinies as the galaxy plunges into darkness.”

Lucasfilm has also announced that the first two seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will air in syndication beginning in September.

 

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: season five looks awesome and even more epic than the last four seasons.

Darth Maul meets Boba Fett!

Summer of Super…


Summer of Superheroes and Monsters

by Adam Blasucci 8/24/2012

Well it’s been a great summer.

I turn 35, went to Philadelphia ComicCon,

saw The Avengers twice excellent film,

The Amazing Spiderman good movie,

saw Alice Cooper & Iron Maiden rocking show!

And finally capping off my superhero summer

The Dark Knight Rises Christopher Nolan’s Batman swansong.

I saw it twice I loved it.

Last weekend was horror weekend.

Saw Pera Norman in the movie and went to Monster Mania 22.

Met Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy),Brian O‘Hallorn

(Clerks & Clerks 2), Jamie Kennedy (Scream), Dale and Glenn

from The Walking Dead. I got some photographs and took photos.

Joey and Brian signed my zombie Kevin Smith T-shirt.

My summers been filled superheroes and monsters.

Saw Premium Rush today. Pretty good bicycle messenger

action movie.

ABC ORDERS S.H….


ABC ORDERS S.H.I.E.L.D. PILOT

ABC has ordered a pilot for a S.H.I.E.L.D. live-action television series, sources have

Joss Whedon, the writer and director of The Avengers, will write the pilot, along with brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Whedon, who recently signed on to write and work on The Avengers 2 as part of a film and TV deal with Marvel, is likely to direct the S.H.I.E.L.D pilot as well.

 

Both Marvel and ABC are owned by Disney. Marvel has also been developing a Hulk TV series.

 

This will mark the second time S.H.I.E.L.D. has been features in live-action television. A Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. movie aired on Fox in 1997. David Hasselhoff starred as the title character in the movie, which was written by David Goyer and also featured such characters as Val, Dum-Dum Dugan, Gabriel Jones, Viper, Baron Von Strucker and Arnim Zola.

 

Whedon has a long history in television, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse.

 

DC COMICS ANNOUNCES JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA


DC COMICS ANNOUNCES JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA

DC Comics has announced a 2013 launch for Justice League of America, an ongoing series written by Geoff Johnsand drawn by David Finch.

“This is a very different kind of team book,” Johns said. “On first glance, people might think the heroes of the Justice Leage of America stand in the shadows of Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League, but Green Arrow, Katana, Martian Manhunter, the new Green Lantern, Stargirl, Vibe, Hawkman and Catwoman thrive in the shadows. They’re underdogs who have everything to prove and something to lose. They’re a team of unlikely heroes who will help one another discover they’re as A-List as anybody — yes, even Vibe.

 

“Though getting there won’t be easy. Why they’re formed, why each member joins, what they’re after and who the society of villains is they’re trying to take apart will all be clear in the first issue when it hits early 2013. David and I are really focused on delving deep into what it’s like to not be a member of the big seven and why, sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”

* The Dark Knight Rises placed fifth at the box office over the weekend with an estimated $7.1 million, pushing its domestic total to $422.1 million.

The Batman sequel passed Toy Story 3 for 11th place all time and is $0.6 milion behind The Lion King for 10th and $1.2 behind Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man’s Chest for ninth.

 

* Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox have announced the release dates for the 3D theatrical launch of two Star Wars movies.

Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones will be in theaters on Sept. 20, 2013, with Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith arriving on Oct. 11, 2013.

 


MASKS #1

Written by Chris Roberson, art by Alex Ross, covers by Alex Ross, Jae Lee, Francesco Francavilla, Ardian Syaf

 

Before superheroes, there were Masks! The Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider and more in a story that only Dynamite could tell! For the first time ever, these masked vigilantes are joining together in on EPIC series! It’s 1938, and the Justice Party has swept into office in New York State. But the newly-elected officials are in the control of powerful criminals, who quickly corrupt the law to their own advantage. When a fascist police state is instituted, the only ones who stand in defense of the innocent are masked vigilantes like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, and the Spider. As the confrontation builds, more masked heroes will

 

32 pages, $3.99.

I can’t wait for the series to start. I love The Shadow, The Green Hornet and Zorro.

I’m not very familiar with the spider, but I thought the Lone Ranger makes it into the series.

Because the Lone Ranger is a Green Hornet’s Great Grand Uncle.

And finally after so many years Alex Ross finally contribute art not just covers to a comic book project.

If I ever wrote a comic book story this would be one of my ideal projects.

One thing I wish they would include its Batman into the story.

Finally a Justice League or Society of classic Pulp Heroes.


BRIEFLY

* DC Comics has unveiled Jim Lee’s cover to Justice League #12 through Entertainment Weekly; both DC and EW are owned by Time-Warner.

The issue, due in stores on August 29 and written by Geoff Johns, will show Superman’s romantic relationship with Wonder Woman.

 

* According to EW, Australian actress Jessica De Gouw has been cast as Huntress in The CW’s Arrow series.

 

Here’s how the character is described:

 

“Helena is a potential love interest for Oliver Queen; a fellow vigilante, set on destroying her father’s organized

 

* According to Deadline, 2 Broke Girls star Kat Dennings will reprise her role of Darcy in Thor: The Dark World.

 

 

* The Dark Knight Rises crossed the $400 million mark at the domestic box office on Friday.

The Batman sequel placed seventh with an estimated $3.1 million, pushing its total to $401.9 million.