Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Son of Batman" (2014) - Walking the Line

Son of Batman 2014

"Son of Batman" is a new direct-to-video 70-minute animated adaptation of the famous DC Comics Caped Crusader. This version is based on a 2006 DC Comics story which brought us a new addition to the scions of Gotham City - Damian Wayne. Comic book writers Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert brought us this new character, and true fans knew that it couldn't be long until Damian found his way to your tv screens.

This is part of the Warner Bros. strategy to reboot their comic book lines in direct to video productions in accordance with the DC Comics Book "New 52" reboot. The direct-to-video releases existing within this new continuity are last year’s "Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox," this year’s "Justice League: War and Son of Batman," with "Assault on Arkham standing apart." Other parts of the reboot include NBC adapting "Constantine," Fox producing "Gotham," and the CW creating an upcoming "Arrow" spinoff centered around The Flash.

Exciting things are happening with this reboot!

Son of Batman 2014
Batman and Damian.
At this point, there only has been one showing of the animation, at WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim, California. So, don't feel bad that this one has slipped by you so far. Apparently, Nightwing and Deathstroke make appearances in "Son of Batman." The people behind the film had a little question and answer session after the film, which gives us all we know so far.

Son of Batman 2014
First, though, let's introduce the people behind "Son of Batman." The voice actors of "Son of Batman" are Jason O'Mara (Batman), Sean Maher (Nightwing), Xander Berkeley (Langstrom) and child actor Stuart Allan (Damian). The director is Ethan Spaulding, producer James Tucker, voice director Andrea Romano (who has a long history with the "Batman" franchise), and character designer Phil Bourassa.

Son of Batman 2014
Killer Croc.
Ok, now that we have that straight, a few tidbits from WonderCon.
  • There are some violence and even sex in this animation. When asked if the animation had crossed a "line" in that regard, Producer Tucker answered, "I keep looking for it, and they keep moving it. It's PG-13, and we just submit the movie, and they give us the rating."

  • Next, Tucker talked about the importance of the Bruce Wayne/Damian Wayne dynamic: "As long as that was strong, we felt we had room to adapt and change some things to suit our running time. It was difficult, but from what you guys seem to say, we did a pretty good job."
  • The new voice of Batman (apparently Kevin Conroy was unavailable) had this to say about his experience: "I felt quite a bit of a pressure to come up with something 'iconic,' It felt like a hunt. I was lucky enough to have Andrea Romano to help me hunt down the voice of Batman. I brought that experience with me to 'Son of Batman.'" 
  • Character designer Bourassa said that doing this film was important. "For the last five years or something, it's been Justice League -- in some form of another, I've been working on the team. But I think it's a milestone in any artist's career when they get to do Batman -- that world is so rich, and every professional artist has a take on Batman. It's like this momentous milestone to get to work in that world.
  • Romano said that the film was a bit difficult for the voice cast at times. "For this film in particular, because there is so much fighting, and there is so much violence, the ADR was extremely difficult. There were a few times I felt I needed to go in and be in the room with the actors. They're trying on the actor's throats, and I never ask an actor to do anything that I'm not willing to do myself."
Son of Batman 2014
"Son of Batman" is available April 22 on digital download, and May 6 on Blu-ray and DVD.

Son of Batman 2014
Damian has something to think about.


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