JUSTICE SOCIETY: WORLD WAR II Interview: Co-Writer Meghan Fitzmartin On The Film's Incredible Roster Of Heroes

Justice Society: World War II co-writer Meghan Fitzmartinn takes a deep dive into balancing epic action with strong character moments in the animated movie, and the level of creative freedom she had...

Justice Society: World War II arrives on streaming platforms on April 27th, 2021, and hits 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray on May 11th, 2021. This next entry in the DC Animated Universe sees The Flash thrust into the midst of an epic battle between Golden Age DC Super Heroes the Justice Society and Nazis for an adventure that definitely doesn't play out the way you might be expecting. 

Picking up with Barry Allen in the present day, prior to the formation of the Justice League, the Scarlet Speedster discovers he can run even faster than he imagined, and that milestone results in his first encounter with the Speed Force. Arriving in WWII, he finds himself joining forces with a Golden Age team made up of Wonder Woman, Hourman, Black Canary, Hawkman, Steve Trevor, and Jay Garrick.

Meghan Fitzmartin penned the movie's screenplay alongside Jeremy Adams, and took us on a deep dive into their take on many of the key characters during a recent conversation about the project. She also opens up about getting the creative freedom to reimagine the team and those who make up the roster.

Fitzmartin's writing credits include SupernaturalDC Super Hero Girls, and The College Tapes, but this foray into the DC Universe is an undeniable highlight of an already exciting career. Delivering pitch-perfect takes on classic Golden Age characters, and combining that with a fresh take on some familiar faces, leads to a movie we're confident you'll definitely love if you're a DC Comics fan. 
 

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Had the roster of the JSA been decided on before you signed up to write this movie, or were you given some creative freedom to pick and choose big names from the DC Universe?

That is a great question. It was not chosen before I joined, and we had a meeting of the minds once all the contracts had gone through which consisted of us saying, ‘What would make sense for this? What would be interesting? What would be narratively interesting, but who have we not seen before?’ It was really fun to go through the roster, especially as you can’t have everybody. It’s a short movie, and there are a tonne of people who have been part of the Justice Society, so having to pick and choose led to a lot of killing your darlings in terms of what you wanted to do and whatnot, but I think ultimately, I’m really happy with the team we got. 

Wonder Woman being the leader of the team is awesome, but what did you enjoy most about having Diana call the shots? 

It feels correct. Whenever I’m writing something and I feel like it’s correct for the character, it’s great. When I was writing scenes and it’s Diana directing things, it’s like, ‘Of course that would be her job. She’s absolutely a leader and that’s what she was trained to be.’ It made the most sense. 

Steve proposing to Diana becomes a bit of a running gag; where did the inspiration for that come from, and what about exploring their dynamic excited you?

My co-writer Jeremy [Adams] is a massive romantic, so as we were talking about it...I like things to be as sad as possible, but he pointed out we also had to have some loving moments at the same time. I love that as well, so as we were figuring out what the story was and the emotional connections, the thing I realised I loved most about Steve, and it was important for me to put this in the film, was the fact that if she was uncomfortable about him proposing, then he wouldn’t do it. He wasn’t doing it to be disrespectful to Diana; he was doing it because he is making a thinly veiled point of, ‘I am taking this moment and I would like to take this moment with you.’ It is up to her to make that choice and accept that choice. I just think that’s really fun. We don’t get to see that type of dynamic in a lot of relationships on television and movies, so it was exciting and fun to get to play with those particular dynamics. 

When you’re getting to play with a timeline like this one, do you feel that gives you more freedom with how these iconic DC characters are portrayed? 

I actually think you end up walking a finer tightrope because you have to honour what has come before, acknowledge what is expected of these characters, while also providing your own spin to it. There is a level of freedom there, but also at the same time, there is the weight of acknowledging that these are characters a lot of people are going to have some opinions about. That’s great and wonderful, and I come from loving comics as well, so I totally understand it. Wanting to marry those two reactions to things is fun as a writer, but also something that intentionally is a challenge as you want to be as kind as possible with that subject. 
 

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Without getting into spoilers, we see a different side of Aquaman here, so I was wondering what made you decide to move the action from the traditional World War II battlefield to Atlantis? 

It’s so funny because I feel like we packed so much into this movie. It’s not long, but we do so much with it and I love what we do, and I think it’s so much fun. The Aquaman we see in Atlantis...it was so cool we got to do that, and so much fun. I feel like that was the moment when we said, ‘What if we go hog wild and see what comes out of it?’ 

This is the first time we’ve seen these versions of Barry and Jay interacting on screen; what about that dynamic did you most enjoy exploring?

That was fun in general. They’re not just from different time periods, but they’re also two completely different people. On top of that, Jay has worked with a team, and at this point, Barry has not. It was really fun to see these two very large personalities interact and play around with how they would react to each other and the iconic-ness of these two particular Flashes being in the same place and inhabiting the same Speed Force was really fun. 

When you’re writing a character like Hourman who has limits to his abilities, what are some of the biggest challenges you faced? 

I tend to like those types of things, if only because they’re really great when it comes to stakes. Hourman is one of those characters I was so excited to bring into the team because we never really get to see him. He’s a very underutilised character in the DC Universe. I love the idea of having this character with very clear limitations who is extremely powerful, but you then have to carry out those limitations pretty consistently, and it’s the middle ground between essentially these God-like heroes and Steve, who is just a regular human. You get to see that middle space between those. That was one of those things, while extremely challenging, was fun to write. 

When I spoke to Jeremy, he credited you with the Hawkman/Black Canary relationship we see in the film, so can you talk about that? I know it was a highlight for me to see something other than his dynamic with Hawkgirl explored here.

[Laughs] Oh, man. That is one of those things that comes out and is just pure collaboration. When we were writing it, there was this tender connection, and then whenever they went to record, the actors and director brought out this really beautiful relationship that was there, but it’s like they teased it out more. When I watched the movie for the first time, I was like, ‘I did not realise how emotional I am over this!’ I was expecting it with Steve and Diana because I knew about that, and Barry and Iris, of course, but the Black Canary and Hawkman stuff took me to a whole other level. That’s what I love about it. That’s what I love about collaboration. Putting everything together and seeing what everyone pulls out of a story. It’s great. 

Also Read: JSA: WWII Director Jeff Wamester Explains His Fresh Take On The Golden Age Team
Also Read: Matt Bomer On Playing The Flash, How It Compares To Superman, & More
Also Read: Elysia Rotaru On Her Badass Black Canary And Why She Loves She-Hulk
Also Read: Liam McIntyre On Getting To Play A Badass, Very Different Aquaman
Also Read: Armen Taylor On His Personal Connection To Jay Garrick And The JSA
Also Read: Omid Abtahi On Bringing Diversity And More Than Muscle To Hawkman
Also Read: Co-Writer Jeremy Adams On Adding The Flash To The World Of The JSA
Also Read: Matthew Mercer On Helping Hourman Shine In A Group Of God-Like Heroes
 

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