Amid all the discussion surrounding the recent release of Batman: The Killing Joke, it’s important that we don’t forget yet another animated feature starring The Dark Knight is on its way, only this one is more accessible for kids and families. Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants sets itself apart from the rest of the pack, as it will see the titular hero and some of his closest allies face the deadliest villains Gotham City has to offer, some of which will grow to Kaiju-like proportions.
Dark Knight News managed to catch up with the voice of Batman, Roger Craig Smith, to discuss the film’s upcoming release and how this particular portrayal differs from his work in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins. Here’s what he had to say about going from the extreme of a dark, inexperienced vigilante to a hero that kids can root for:
“My approach to any character is going in and asking the director what they want from me. I don’t like walking in and going, ‘Well, here’s what I feel like we should do for this version of Batman,’ because I don’t write it, I don’t produce it, I don’t animate it. It’s a collaborative effort. It’s a bunch of people coming together to basically say, ‘This is what we’re going to do for this project.'”
“And with the Batman Unlimited version of Batman, it was skewing more family-friendly, but that being said, I will say I feel like this is just a more classic version of Batman in the animated sense, to where it’s like he’s very confident, very capable, and very self-assured. He’s not trying to figure out who he is. That [Batman: Arkham] Origins story, where it was kind of coming of age and he’s trying to figure out his relationship with Alfred and whether or not he needs help in the world and all that. This Batman is just like, [Smith briefly goes into his Batman voice] ‘I’m Batman.’ He’s just right there.”
“So, with this, I would say it’s more classic in the sense of we know this character, it’s not a developmental stage for him in any way and I think that works well to allow the wackiness and allow the other characters to kind of have their moments to go all over the map. Also, it’s funny to have Batman be more of the straight man in this sense, because there’s so much wackiness going on here, but also, I think it helps to introduce what the Unlimited series is. We’re basically introducing him to a younger generation, a new audience, hopefully and a more family-friendly version of Batman.”
Another interesting tidbit to come from Smith was what he said in regards to Troy Baker, who played opposite him as The Joker in both Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem. It’s kind of funny to hear how secretive the casting process can be, as even two friends must keep each other in the dark until given further notice.
“Well, Troy and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve known each other for a long time prior to this. I always tell the story that I left the casting call for the Batman role and I remember texting the casting director, Amanda Wyatt. She and I worked on three versions of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, so we had gotten close and became good friends – and I was like, ‘Why wasn’t Troy at the casting for this? He’d be perfect for Batman.’ And then, she had replied with, ‘Funny story, we’ll talk later.’ Then, she called up to say, ‘You’ve got the role and now I can reveal to you that Troy was already cast as the Joker.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, no way!'”
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants arrives on DVD on September 13.
Source: Dark Knight News