On sale this week, Warner Bros. Animation's Batman vs. Two Face film re-teams the cast and crew behind the hugely successful Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders for another cartoon rendition of the beloved Batman '66 TV series. Serving as the iconic Adam West's final take on the Bright Knight, the film also sees Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprise their roles as Robin and Catwoman, respectively, in addition to a high-profile name as Two-Face: William Shatner.
Speaking with a room full of journalists including CBR at New York Comic Con, the filmmakers praised West's villainous turn as Harvey Dent, remarking how he made the role -- which was never depicted on the Batman '66 TV series -- completely his own. "I think his performance as Two-Face was just incredible," director Rick Morales said. "It’s a villain that had never appeared in this era before and it just kind of seems like William Shatner at that time would have been a good fit for the role, in reality."
Morales noted how Shatner's recording session packed the room full of crew members that were fans of his work. "There were a ton of people there for that record," Morales said, "[Shatner] had some great moments in that record, it was fun to see. I wish you all could see it!"
Co-writer Michael Jelenic said Shatner was set to play Two-Face from the film's inception. "I think we knew Shatner was going to be playing the part [from the beginning]," he said, "we knew that he was probably going to end up shaping that character more than we did." Jelenic added, "The challenge with Batman was we’ve seen so many different version so villains," noting, "we do some definitely different things with this one...things that haven’t been done with Two-Face before."
"I don’t think we would’ve done it if [Shatner] didn’t want to do it," Jelenic said. "I think one of the things that excited us...'who would’ve been cast if the ’66 series kept going?’" Adding, "...[Shatner] just brings such a great performance to the role. He did not let us down."
Even co-star Ward sang Shatner's praises. "Couldn’t have picked anybody on Earth better to do this," Ward said, "and he is great, wait 'til you...you’re not going to recognize him...the character he plays..he’s a really good actor. A really, really good actor."
Discussing his character, Shatner took the conversation to a dark place, as he compared finding the voice for Two-Face to understanding the psyche of the shooter responsible for the recent massacre in Las Vegas.
Asked what it took for him to get into the head of the scarred district attorney gone bad, Shatner had an unexpected response. “Well, it’s a cartoon...but if you take the question seriously, there are many voices in our psyche, my mind keeps going back to the guy in Las Vegas,” he replied. “A mild-mannered guy, apparently. Never got a parking ticket. And what was he thinking, what was he doing, what was going on in his head as he was spraying those bullets around? This mild-mannered guy — what are the voices [in his head]? Obviously, some totally sick — I’m trying to find a word that would apply to that kind of illness, where it’s so devoid of humanity…that it’s incomprehensible. So what’s going on in his head…how do you do that, what are these voices saying? And if you take the question seriously, that’s what’s going on in this ill person, the struggle between good and evil.”
He added, "Villain is the same guy as the hero…so playing a villain should be the same as playing [a hero]."