Son of Batman, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, out on Blu-ray on May 6th, is the landmark 20th entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe animated original movies. In the film, Batman (voiced by Jason O’Mara) learns that he has a son, Damian (Stuart Allen), whose mother is Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin), the daughter of one of Batman’s most dreaded enemies, Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito). Together, the two form an uneasy alliance to try to stop the criminal enterprise of Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson). Also included in the voice cast are Sean Maher, David McCallum, Xander Berkeley and Fred Tatasciore.
While at WonderCon to promote the film, Maher, who voices Nightwing, spoke at a roundtable interview about how he got involved with what was his first animated job, how much he knew about Nightwing, the dynamic between Nightwing and Damian Wayne, recording with Fred Tatasciore as Killer Croc, and how he’d like to take on another one of these roles. He also talked about his time on Arrow, and what being a part of Firefly has meant to him. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
SEAN MAHER: I still don’t understand. Everyone keeps telling me that they’re so mad that Shrapnel died. They killed him. It happens.
And now, you’re Nightwing.
MAHER: Now, I’m Nightwing.
How did you get involved?
MAHER: Andrea [Romano] is a fan of my work, and we had been in touch. We were virtually introduced, and then she sent me an email and said, “I have a great role for you.” I said, “Wonderful,” and then we checked my availability. I was eager to work with her. I had heard amazing things about her. And that was it. Next thing I knew, the time came to record it, so I showed up. I truly didn’t know what to expect. This is my first animated job. So, I showed up and I had a picture of Nightwing on my music stand, as I was voicing him, and I did my best to translate it.
Did you know much about Nightwing before?
MAHER: I didn’t. I think I knew more of the surface stories. I would probably not do with a Batman trivia challenge, but I knew Dick Grayson.
How much trouble does Dick Grayson have, now that Bruce Wayne’s real son has shown up?
MAHER: Some of my favorite parts in the movie were playing with Damian and the tension that arises and Nightwing’s bewilderment. He’s like, “Who the hell is this kid? He says he’s your son.” All of that was super fun for me to play.
Was there anything about the character that surprised you?
MAHER: Not so much. I was really nervous because I felt it was going to be hard and crazy, but I was in such good hands with Andrea. Her direction is so clear. She knows exactly what she needs, and she gives you the time to figure it out, which is really delightful. But if you’re not getting something, she’ll portray it in another way. It’s refreshing to be around someone who respects the art of it, and yet can oversee it in such a wonderful manner, the way she does. So, initially, I was terrified, and then it was really quite delightful. And then, I couldn’t believe I did it in 45 minutes.
Were you alone in the recording booth?
MAHER: I had Fred [Tatasciore] in the booth, as Killer Croc. I have to tell you that I missed a few cues because I was staring at him doing his thing. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I didn’t have my phone, but I wanted to record him. So, that was my first experience, and I marveled at his ability to do what he did. He had spit and snot. It was amazing! I’ve watched the movie and I was shocked at my voice. I was like, “That’s not me! Oh, wait, that is me!” I even asked Andrea if she twerked my voice, but she said it was all me. I just want to create authentic characters.
Would you take on a role like this again?
It’s been 12 years since Firefly first premiered on TV, and almost 10 years since Serenity came out in theaters. How would you put that experience into words, and how much it means to you?
MAHER: It means the world to us. I can safely speak for the entire cast and Joss [Whedon], as well, that shooting that show was truly one of the best times in our lives. To have it resonate so strongly, 12 years later, is extraordinary. It’s phenomenal. I feel blessed. I feel grateful. I feel humble. We all love that show. We still see each other. What everybody connected with is still going on, on a personal level, with us.
And Morena Baccarin also did a voice for Son of Batman.
MAHER: Yeah, which I didn’t know until I was doing ADR and I was like, “That sounds like Morena.”
Son of Batman is available on Blu-ray on May 6th.