|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
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
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,”
“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.
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
“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
“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.
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 ]
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