On Friday at the Comic-Con International in San Diego, Warner Bros Animation held a special press conference regarding their upcoming “Batman: Mystery of The Batwoman” animated movie, which was premiered later that day. The movie was a roaring success with the audience and CBR News was present at the press conference, which is detailed below.
Attending were Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in all the animated series since the 90’s), writer Michael Reaves, supervising producer Alan Burnett and producer/director Curt Geda. The movie features the all-new Batwoman heroine and the returning characters of Bane, Penguin, Rupert Thorne and Commissioner Gordon.
The first question posed was related to the redesign of some characters like the Penguin and Geda explained, “Basically, we kind of went with character designs based on ‘Batman: The Animated Series,’ which is eleven years ago now, but there was a time when we did ‘The New Adventures of Batman & Robin’ and these characters that were designed in this second set, about five years ago. Like I say, these are pretty much the designs, there are slight changes, like Penguin looking a little more menacing… but the voices are slightly different, too.”
One press member noted that the Batwoman costume resembled the costume from “Batman Beyond” and wondered if there was a connection, but Geda explained that the chief concern was maintaining an air of mystery. “The biggest trick with ‘Batwoman’ is that her face had to be completely covered and so the audience had no idea of what she looked like, so that was a crucial element.”
As far as the silver costume goes, Geda explained the reason for the color. “I guess there is an older version of Batwoman, but there wasn’t much to use there…. We just tried to make it as different as we could, while sticking close to the darker color scheme and keeping it simple.”
While many Batman actors have been typecast as superheroes after their roles as the Dark Knight, Conroy says he’s been able to have a good career, though everyone loves the Bat. “I do get requests a lot that require that kind of voice, that’s not uncommon. I just did some stuff yesterday from MTV, they wanted that sound.”
The inspiration for the story is quite simple, as long time Batman contributor Burnett explained. “My boss, Sander Schwartz, walked into my office and said we’re going to do a Batman home video. I was thinking about what we had done and we hadn’t done Batwoman, so I started writing the story and Michael was writing the script. It all started falling together really well and that’s where it came. A need to feel a home video request and from there came Batwoman.”
When asked why “Batman: The Animated Series” has remained so popular to this day, the panel of pros looked at each other and Reaves replied, “Because it’s good.” They all laughed and Conroy added, “It’s enjoyable.”
They also addressed the rumor that another Batman animated series in the works- called “Live Wire” by some sources- and it was said by Burnett that this film wasn’t any lead in to that. “Whatever new developments they’re doing on Batman, I’d wait and see, because it keeps changing. But, the idea was just to visit the old neighborhood again and see what it was like.” He also added that there is a nod to Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman and that the team was given great creative latitude.
Burnett also said that he didn’t believe any more animated Batman films were in the works. “I don’t know of any. It’s possible”
The whole team said that they believe that “Batwoman” is truly an animated piece with a cinematic feel and a story worthy of a feature film, something they think will endear fans to the piece. “I think it really holds up,” said Reaves.
As to the status of the animated series DVDs and the chance for box sets of the seasons, it seems everyone in the room was equally curious. “I don’t know, we’re the last to know,” laughed Burnett. “We’re hoping just like you.”
There’s also an extra short on the DVD release of “Batwoman” called “Chase me” and it’s something that Geda is happy with. “We’re very happy,” “There’s a little chase and we’re thrilled it came it out. It’s about seven minutes without dialogue or sound effects and it’s a Batman chase. The best added value ever as far as I can see.”