Legacies must rise to unearthly challenges as the children of Batman and Superman are charged with saving their famous fathers - and the world - in Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons.
Warner Bros. Animation's first-ever all-CG animated, feature-length film begins as 11-year-old Jonathan Kent discovers he has superpowers, thrusting the half-Kryptonian into the complicated world of Super Heroes and Super-Villains - who are now under attack by a malevolent alien force known as Starro!
It’s a race against time as Jonathan must join forces with assassin-turned-Boy-Wonder Damian Wayne to rescue their fathers and save the planet by becoming the Super Sons they were destined to be!
The legend that is Troy Baker plays Batman in the movie, bringing the necessary gravitas (and gruffness) to Gotham City's Caped Crusader. The Last of Us and Spider-Man: Miles Morales star previously lent his voice to The Joker in Batman: The Long Halloween, but now becomes one of the only actors to have played both the Dark Knight and his greatest foe.
During a brief conversation a little earlier this week, Troy shared his excitement for Battle of the Super Sons, heaping high praise on his co-star Travis Willingham (Superman) and explaining his approach to bringing Batman to life.
Check out our conversation with the prolific actor below, and be sure to click here to find out what he had to say about HBO's The Last of Us TV series.
The last time we spoke, you were playing The Joker; what’s it been like going from that role to starring as Batman in this film?
Here’s what's so funny. As a fan, Mask of the Phantasm is my all-time favourite. Under the Red Hood falls right below that, and The Long Halloween is incredible. It was an amazing adaptation, but then I watched this one and was like, ‘Oh no, I have a new favourite!’ This one…Gary Miereanu, who is the publicist, I was live texting him going, ‘I can’t believe this one.’ This is what I think a lot of people don’t understand. As actors, we’re brought in super early. There will maybe be some storyboard so we have something to play off, but for the most part, when critics and the general public watch this, this is the first time we’re watching it as well. I literally just saw it and the performances are amazing.
I will go down on record to say that Travis Willingham is to Superman, to me, what Kevin Conroy is to Batman. This is not a disparagement at all to anyone else who has played Superman before. What he is able to do as both Clark and Superman is wholly unique. The rest of our cast is incredible, but I really think Travis deserves a gold star. He’s played Superman before, but specifically on this, he just knocked it out of the park. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this because it was great to see Nolan North as Jor-El too. That’s a great wink to the audience for his fans who are aware of what he’s done for Superman and Superboy. Now, he’s completed the three generations of Superman!
Jack Dylan Grazer and Jack Griffo deserve incredible accolades for their performances because they do a fantastic job as Damian and Superboy. The standout performance to me is Travis because he did such an unbelievable job. I don’t know if you know this, but part of the reason they brought us in to be Batman is Superman is because when we did this originally, Travis and I had just become fathers. These characters really became…they took on a new life because this is really the first time we’ve seen Superman and Batman as dads together. It was the first time for Travis and I to play as dads and the history we have is deep. For us, these were really special and unique roles and Travis stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.
It really shows your versatility as an actor to jump between Gotham’s greatest hero and its greatest villain, but is now you’re among the few to have played both, who is more fun?
Well, The Joker is more fun for sure. Batman never has fun. That’s the whole point about being Batman, but there are some great nods to that here. When Jonathan and Superman show up and they first see Batman fighting criminals, Jonathan has to be told that he’s actually going easy on them! Batman is grey. There’s a reason why he wears black and grey. That’s just who he is. As far as someone saying to me, ‘Do you want to have some fun?’ It’s would always be The Joker. There are no rails. We’re not even off them because they weren’t there to begin with.
Batman, for me, goes back to my roots. The first graphic novel I bought was a Batman origin story. I remember where I was when I first saw Adam West and the ‘66 Batman. That’s incredible and still holds up to this day for me. I saw that transition more into the Batman I was reading in the graphic novels, and it was this dark, edgier, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns kind of vibe, and then it was followed immediately by Batman: The Animated Series. I feel like all of us in animation are still trying to get back to that show.
In the way Batman: The Animated Series was pushing the boundaries by being the first animated series to start on black paper, they were really trying to do something different here as well. This is the first all-CG DC animated movie! The animation team…they’re firing on all cylinders. I wish this had been in the theaters because it deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible. They crushed it. The animation in this is killer.
I know you’ve played Batman in some of the LEGO movies, but when you approach the character for a project like this, does that fundamentally change your performance and preparation?
My job as an actor is to come in and always be prepared, but never be rehearsed. I don’t want to be full of my own ideas. I want to be empty and ready for others. So, the producers and directors who have those…my job is to get out of my own way. Batman is a character that exists in the canon that belongs to the fans. I want to make sure I’m always measuring myself against that yardstick. For the most part, every time we do one of these movies, we’re trying to do something different and test the bounds of the lore and the established canon of these characters. In this one, hearing Lois Lane say, ‘Burn that motherf***er’ and get cut off…I was literally standing there cheering. That’s what I always try to and that’s my approach. I want to make something that, as a fan, I want to watch.
Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons lands on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital on October 18, 2022.