Interviews: Deidrich Bader, James Tucker, voice casting guru Andrea Romano and Glen Murakami

     April 11, 2009

Written by Jonah Keel

Photos by Heidi Ryder

Last night I attended Warner Animation’s public unveiling of the studio’s new cartoon billboard. The evnt, open to the public, featured: door prizes, a raffle, face painting, the Mystery Machine, and the Batmobile. Celebrity guests included current Batman Animated Deidrich Bader, 60’s TV catwoman Julie Newmar, and Animation icons Bruce Timm, James Tucker and Glen Murakami – the minds behind “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (Tucker), “Batman: The Animated Series” (Timm), and “Teen Titans” (Murakami), and Warner Animated voice casting guru Andrea Romano. I had the chance to ask a couple of questions, and get a couple answers about upcoming Warner projects including Batman/Superman, Green lantern, and future episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Diedrich, when I first talked to you at Comic Con, Brave and the Bold had yet to premier. There seemed to be some trepidation amongst the fans. Now that it’s premiered, what sort of reaction have you noticed?

DEIDRICH BADER: The response has been universally positive. Which is … shocking really. At first the fans seemed upset that we were veering from the Batman formula.

You are scary.

BADER: I am a scary fella. But it’s been great. Really great.

James, same question to you.

JAMES TUCKER: I got used to it. All the fan chatter. I was prepared to be strung up.

BADER: But it has turned into a fascinating process. I’m proud to be a part.

Andrea, what can you tell us about any upcoming voices?

ANDREA ROMANO: Well we have … not sure who we can talk about that we haven’t already.

BADER: Tom Everett Scott?

ROMANO: We do have Tom Everett Scott as Booster Gold. He’s great! And can we talk about Paul?

TUCKER: Ruebens? Yeah.

BADER: We’ve got Paul Ruebens as Bat Mite. It’s great. It’s stylistically all over the place.

TUCKER: There’s a lot of fan wankery.

BADER: Bruce has a line.

TUCKER: Bruce, can you do your line?

[At this point, Bruce Timm, who unassumingly let Tucker take the spotlight, shrugs.]

BRUCE TIMM: Okay … “meh”.

And you play you?

[Timm nods.]

TUCKER: The fanboys are gonna go insane.

The fan response to the show does seem to be really positive.

TUCKER: Yeah. At first we were under the radar, and in [Bruce Timm’s] shadow. Know I kind of know what I’m doing. You just discount all the bad things.

I like the show.

TUCKER: Thanks.

As the unveiling begins, I sidle over to Glen Murakami to continue asking questions. I know the mural doesn’t really come alive until dark after all.

Anything Warner coming up for you?

GLEN MURAKAMI: Not right now, but you never know.

Did the three of you (Timm, Tucker, Murakami) contribute sketches for the mural?

MURAKAMI: We all talked about the concept, and did some sketches. Tommy Tejada did the final drawings.

Looks great.

MURAKAMI: It does.

I just wanted to say that I loved the show (Teen Titans).

MURAKAMI: Thanks. At first the fans hated it.

It was fun!

MURAKAMI: Yeah, by the second season I think we really surprised them.

At this point, Julie Newmar slinks over and introduces herself to Glen.

JULIE NEWMAR (to Glen Murakami): Hi. I’m Julie Newmar, I played Catwoman.

MURAKAMI: I know. I also loved you in Lil’ Abner.

NEWMAR: You remember that.


[Seeing Newmar, James Tucker walks over]

TUCKER: And Seven brides for Seven Brothers. Slaves of Babylon…

As the geekfest continues, I slink off to talk to Bruce Timm.

What’s coming up?

TIMM: Green Lantern in July. Then Superman and Batman.

Stylistically will these continue to look different than Justice League?

TIMM: They each have their own look. Green Lantern is the most detailed we’ve done so far. More so than Wonder Woman. It’s almost anime really. Batman / Superman is based on the book drawn by Ed McGuinnes.

Will it follow one of the books story arcs?

TIMM [nods]: The first one. Public enemies.

Will it look like Ed’s style?

TIMM: It’s not as detailed as Ed’s, no. But Ed’s style is really very animated actually. It’s like animation on steroids.

What do you have coming up for Warner Brothers?

TIMM:One more after the Superman and Batman film that I can’t talk about yet. [Rumor has it that it’s another Justice League project.] After that, who knows. There’s no end in sight.

At this point, the Warner brass ushers my interviewees up to the stage. As I walk off, James Tucker and Glenn Murakami are still talking to Julie Newmar. I smile as I think that the Warner Animated heroes are where they belong, in the hands of true fanboys.

Check out “Batman: Brave and the Bold” on Cartoon Network every Saturday night, and look for “Green Lantern” in July.

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