The DC Animated Panel at the 2011 New York Comic Con filled up the IGN Theater, kicking off with guests Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano who were greeted with thunderous applause from the audience. The panel began with a screening of the “Catwoman” short from the Batman: Year One animated DTV (available now in a variety of download-to-own services and coming to Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday), described by Timm as, “10 minutes of sex and violence we didn’t get to do in Batman: Year One.” Panel moderator Gary Miereanu managed to get Eliza Dushku on stage to introduce the short, which was very well received by the audience. Afterwards, Romano joked that the voice sessions for the short was eight-and-a-half minutes of dialogue and then 10 minutes of ADR going “oof! ah!”
Switching to discuss Batman: Year One, Timm noted the crew’s attempt to stay faithful to the original comic book story, while Romano stated she really enjoyed working with Bryan Cranston and Ben McKenzie. She also expressed her happiness that she was finally able to work with Eliza Dushku, first for the movie and then for the “Catwoman” short.
Next, the trailer for the next DC Animated movie Justice League Doom was screened. It will feature the return of almost all the cast of the Justice League TV show, including Kevin Conroy as Batman. At this point, Miereanu surprised the audience by stating that Conroy was actually sitting amongst them, and pulled him up on stage to a massive audience response. The movie was inspired by the comic book JLA: Tower of Babel, and is the last script from the late Dwayne McDuffie. The panelists described the recording sessions as like “a family reunion where you get to pick your family,” with the additions of Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Bumper Robinson as Cyborg. Timm added that the only actor who had a problem jumping back into their old role was Michael Rosenbaum, but only because this is supposed to be the Barry Allen Flash, not the Wally West Flash he played on Justice League.
Timm stated that they decided to re-use character designs from the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie, with character designer Phil Bourassa returning to do the new cast members such as Cyborg, Vandal Savage, the Royal Flush Gang, and the other members of the Legion of Doom. Timm summarized the plot that Batman has developed contingency plans to take down the Justice League in an emergency, which then fall into the wrong hands. (Click here to listen to the panelists joking about the story.)
The panel was opened up to audience questions. Romano noted that casting requirements often came from much higher up, and that if she had her way, Kevin Conroy would always be Batman. Conroy answered that his favorite episode of all the show’s he’s done is “Perchance to Dream” from Batman the Animated Series, since he got to play so many different voices in the same episode and enjoyed the challenge. Timm stated that there has been no pressure from Warner Brothers to incorporate DC’s “New 52” into future projects.
Stay tuned for Toonzone’s roundtable interviews with Kevin Conroy, Andrea Romano, and Bruce Timm.