Backstage - Interviews - James Tucker

The World’s Finest caught up again with James Tucker, Producer and Lead Character Designer for Batman: The Brave and The Bold, to look into the future of this critically-acclaimed and fan favorite animated series. With new episodes, a videogame and so much more in store in the works, Tucker gives us the inside scoop of what fans can expect for this Bat-tastic animated series!

To start things off, can you run us through the process of choosing a guest star for each episode. Is it just a natural evolution from the script, or is it more based around character selection? Has that changed from the first season to the current?

I sit in a room with Michael Jelenic, the co-producer-story editor and Todd Casey, our pinch hitter story editor, and we bat around ideas. Todd and I are the major comic book fans and so which characters we use tend to come from one of us. Michael tends to be more about hitting on the concept of the stories. How do we use this character in a way that’s different and fresh?

Things seem to be slightly shifting in the second season, mainly in format. Whether it’s the “Starro” teaser or the Aquaman-focused episodes, was it a conscious decision to mix things up a little for the second season? If so, why?

Michael Jelenic, my co-producer, and I never wanted the show to follow a strict formula, so we’re always trying to come up with ways to shake up the structure of the show. When we came up with the ‘Siege of Starro’ idea. I wanted to make sure we gave it enough build up so that it didn’t feel rushed. So that meant reserving a certain amount of teasers to build up to the Starro two part finale. I thought it would be fun not to be so linear about it and have an early teaser introduce Starro but then skip a couple of teasers and make the audience wait for the next piece of the puzzle. Hey, that’s why they call them ‘teasers’. As for ‘Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure’, well we just love A-man. That was reason enough to devote a bulk of that episode to him and his family. For pacing, I think that’s strong episode that never gets boring and Ben Jones, the director, did a great job putting in lots of fan service that enriched the story’s appeal. It’s one of my favorites of the first part of second season.

What can you tell us about the two-part “Starro” event reportedly coming down the pipeline on Batman: The Brave and The Bold. What kind of heroes can we expect to see, and how can we expect Batman to take on a threat that has already usurped many of his common crime-fighting allies?

All I can say at the moment is that just about every hero who’s appeared in the show will be a guest star and that the story takes an unexpected twist. And its scale is BIG...HUGE in fact.

Once we get past the two-part event, what can we expect for the remaining episodes of the second season? Any hints or teases as to the characters and plots we’ll see down the line?

The second half of season 2 will tend to focus on the theme of legacy within the superhero world of The Brave and the Bold and asks the question, ‘What does it take to be a hero?’. Expect a kick ass Flash-centric show in the near future that will have four, count ‘em four, Flashes! After that, we’ll see the debut of the Doom Patrol on B:B&B. Captain Marvel returns and is bringing the Marvel Family with him.

Cartoon Network is slated to air a host of new episodes beginning in March 2010, and running into at least April. Can you share any thoughts on these upcoming episodes (slated to include “Chill of the Night,” “The Super-Batman of Planet X,” “The Power of Shazam,” “The Reign of Emperor Joker,” and more)?

“Chill of the Night” is probably the darkest episode of the entire series. For a long time I wanted to do an adaptation combining two classic golden age Batman tales, ‘The First Batman’ and ‘ The Origin of Batman’ but I wasn’t sure how it would fit tonally in with Batman: The Brave and the Bold until I realized that by adding Phantom Stranger and the Spectre to the mix it would totally work for our show. Paul Dini did some great work on the script and Michael Chang really put his all into the direction of the episode. There was a ton of work that went into that episode from altering the whole color palette of the show so that it would look and feel darker to the way the musicians scored it. It was such a departure from our regular episodes that it felt weird actually. It’s very downbeat. Even the darkest of B:TAS episodes had some humor but this one is pitch black throughout.

“The Super-Batman of Planet X” is also an adaptation of a famous golden age story, “Batman-The Super of Planet X” and it’s probably my favorite episode this season from a purely animation standpoint. The overseas studio, Lotto, put so much love into this and followed all our color keys and bg paints to the letter. But the whole episode from Michael Goguen’s direction to the storyboards to the voice acting, music, sound fx fell perfectly into place. It’s just a big, fun episode that I’m very proud of.

“The Power of Shazam” is a fun episode featuring Captain Marvel and a few of his more famous rogues. I thought we established who Cap is and nailed the feel of his early adventures pretty well with a limited amount of time. Captain Marvel isn’t just another version of Superman, his stories are tonally different and his adventures were a lot more humorous and fantasy oriented. My favorite aspect of the show was being able to inflict such strange and obscure characters like Thaddeus Sivana Jr. and Georgia Sivana on an unsuspecting public.

“The Reign of Emperor Joker” actually is still in animation overseas and won’t be ready for a while. It’s official title is just ‘Emperor Joker’ but it’s not a strict retelling of the Emperor Joker storyline that ran in the comics a few years ago.

Can we expect a Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One DVD (maybe Blu-ray) release down the line? While the volume releases are selling well, many fans are holding off for a more extensive season release.

Of course there will be a season set, but I don’t know exactly when it will be released. I have seen some DVD cover art, so I assume it’s in the works.

Are you, or anyone from the Batman: The Brave and The Bold production team, involved in the upcoming Batman: The Brave and The Bold videogame for the Wii and Nintendo DS? If so, in what capacity?

I’ve been focusing mainly on producing our show but Ben Jones, one of the directors on B:B&B, has been involved with approving footage of the animated scenes for the game and Andrea Romano is voice directing it. I’ve heard great things. The people involved on the video game side of things are huge fans of the show and I trust that they’re going to do a kick ass job.

Will we be seeing your name in other upcoming projects soon? Do you plan to work on an upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie or on one of the forthcoming DC cartoons currently in the works?"

At the moment B:B&B is taking up almost all of my time and I love working on this show with the amazing crew that I have and would be happy to continue until they kick us off the air. I’m currently consulting a bit on a project I can’t talk about but in the future I hope to be able to work on some of the DC DVDs, particularly the DC Showcase series. I love short form storytelling, which is the main reason I came up with the idea of doing stand alone teasers for the beginning of each episode of B:B&B in the first place.

The World's Finest would like to thank James Tucker for participating in this Q & A.

[ Back to Backstage ]


Batman: The Brave and the Bold and related characters and indicia are property of DC Comics and WB, 2001 - 2013.
The World's Finest and everything relating to this site - copyright, 1998 - 2013.
Proudly hosted by toonzone. Contact us.