Interviews

WonderCon 2014: ‘Son of Batman’ cast and filmmakers discuss world premiere.

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One of the biggest events at this year’s WonderCon was the world premiere of Son of Batman, the upcoming DC animated project inspired by Grant Morrison’s celebrated story arc in the pages of Batman comics. The film puts on a new spin on the tale, introducing new characters and altering the timeline, but manages to remain true to its origins, and firmly focused on the relationship between Batman and his illegitimate son, Damien Wayne. “We wanted to bring a little bit of the mood and atmosphere from the graphic novel,” says director Ethan Spaulding. “All of the elements are there.”

'Son of Batman' director Ethan Spaulding.

‘Son of Batman’ director Ethan Spaulding. (Photo by Alyssa Avetissian)

Son of Batman marks the first onscreen appearance of Damien Wayne, and Spaulding readily acknowledges the importance of doing justice to the character. “We didn’t want him to come off as just a bratty kid. He’s grown up with the League of Assassins, and he’s a trained killer at ten years old. I think his life experience is different.”

“We tried to get the essence of Damien and his personality,” says producer James Tucker, who also worked on Justice League: War and The Flashpoint Paradox. “[We wanted to] set him up so the audience who’s not familiar with comics gets a pretty true gauge of who he is as a character, and then kind of incorporate our own story with that character.”

 

'Son of Batman' voice actor Stuart Allan.

‘Son of Batman’ voice actor Stuart Allan. (Photo by Alyssa Avetissian)

Nailing the character’s essence means walking a very fine line between charming and obnoxious, which dialogue director Andrea Romano acknowledges was no easy task. “It’s very hard [to keep that balance],” she says. “He’s got to be likeable, so I had to be very careful that we didn’t push the obnoxiousness, the superiority of his character so far over the top that [the audience] doesn’t care what happens to this kid.”

Casting the right actor to provide the voice of Damien was a crucial decision, and newcomer Stuart Allan was keen to tackle the job. “In the audition, I played him like a complete brat,” he admits. “But as I started to research him more, I realized that he’s not a brat at all. He’s basically a lone wolf. He’s a very smart kid, very sophisticated, and needs to work on his manners.”

 

Of course, the cornerstone to any Batman story is the Dark Knight himself, and Jason O’Mara tells us that his return to the role was much smoother than his original performance in Justice League: War. “I had a bit of a struggle,” he recalls. “By the time we got around to Son of Batman, I thought, this is awesome, this is me getting a second crack at it. There was a real danger that I might even have a good time. And I did.”

O’Mara is acutely aware of the expectations that come along with taking over such an iconic role, and talks about trying to create his own version of the character. “You want to find that Batman that you heard when you were ten years old, playing with your action figures,” he says. “That was the question I started with, but I also didn’t want it to sound like any of the previous iterations. [I tried] to find something unique and honest and authentic and grounded. And dark.”

“So it took a little while,” he continues. “Eventually you get it, and it’s a nice feeling when you do… It was a process, and it’s really only something you know when you hear it.” So with two performances under his belt, can we expect O’Mara to return for a third run? “It’s been hinted,” he says, trying to suppress a smile. “It’s been mentioned, so I’m hopeful.”

Son of Batman will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 6. Click below to pre-order your copy.

son of batman blu ray

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