BATMAN AND SUPERMAN: BATTLE OF THE SUPER SONS Interview With Damian Wayne Actor Jack Griffo (Exclusive)

Jack Griffo (The Thundermans) brings Damian Wayne to life in Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, and the actor talks us through his DCAU debut, his dynamic with Jack Dylan Grazer, and much more!

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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!

Jack Griffo lends his voice to Damian Wayne in the movie, and does a phenomenal job. The actor manages to tap into this Robin's arrogance, while also finding the humanity and vulnerability beneath his cocky exterior. Needless to say, it was a delight being able to talk with him.

In this interview, Jack reveals how it felt to join the DC Animated Universe for Battle of the Super Sons. The actor also explains how he brought Robin to life in the recording booth and breaks down his chemistry with Superboy actor Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!) despite never actually meeting his co-star until last week's New York Comic Con.

Finally, Jack shares his take on who would win in a fight between the two characters, so be sure to read our full interview with him for more on that and this franchise's possible future...
 

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You’ve been part of a lot of great projects over the years, but what did it mean to you to not only join this DC Universe, but to do so as the son of Batman?

Oh man, yeah. Great question. It was cool. I think I definitely prefer DC, just right off the bat, over Marvel. I think it’s cooler and darker and a little more gritty. To join in such a cool way like this as the son of Batman…big shoes to fill. There was definitely some pressure to it, but it was mainly just exciting. I was stoked to take on the role. There are a lot of similarities between Damian and Max Thunderman, my role on Nickelodeon, so I’m not a stranger to playing the black sheep of the family. Damian was not really raised to be a superhero, right? He’s Talia al Ghul’s son and didn’t really know Batman for the whole first part of his life. He has a pretty estranged relationship to his dad which is what I leaned into getting ready to play this character.

Jonathan is so excited to be in the Batcave, but Damian is very nonplussed and chilled out in comparison. Is that a tough thing to pull off when, as an actor, you’re thinking, ‘I’m playing Robin, I’m also in the Batcave, I have a Bat-cow…’ 

[Laughs] Bat-Cow! Yeah, there were so many cool Easter Eggs in the movie that the fans really appreciate. To be honest, I didn’t know all of this stuff. I’m not a die-hard comic book fan or anything. To be there, in the room, when the film was premiering and to hear the energy and appreciation from the fans…I knew it was good and I like the movie, but there was something different about being in a room full of people who really love it. I felt like the writers really did a great job in making everyone feel…they put everything into it. There’s a lot of heart and a lot of Easter Eggs. 

Initially, Damian seems very dismissive of Jonathan, but there’s a bond that really develops over the course of the film. What is your take on why that initially unlikely friendship between these two blossoms? 

You know, I think Damian has a hard time making friends. From where he grew up, being trained by the League of Assassins, I don’t think he had any friends. Even in the film, we see him talking to the Titans and the dynamic there. He isn’t good with others and doesn’t play well with other people. It’s very sad. You get a window in and so does Jonathan when he comes into the Batcave and overhears some stuff. It’s an unlikely friendship and it definitely starts with some friction. That’s definitely to do with Damian thinking, ‘Why is this kid here? He doesn’t have any powers.’ I don’t have powers either, but I’m obviously a trained assassin and feel like I do deserve to be there. 

I think a lot of it has to do with our dads, Batman and Superman. We both want to live up to those expectations and do well with our dads. When Jonathan comes into the picture, it does become a bit of a threat and the approval Damian needs from his dad. When sh*t hits the fan, it’s time to put that stuff aside and that’s where the friendship starts. They really have no choice in the matter but to join forces and learn how to work together and help each other…everything is on the line as it usually is in these superhero stories. It’s very, very fun. 

Did you and Jack Dylan Grazer ever get a chance to talk before or during your recording sessions? It seems like you both had a lot of chemistry, so if not, I’m now even more impressed.

It’s interesting, but no, we never spoke before Comic-Con on Friday [Laughs]. It’s interesting, you know? A lot of animated stuff is that way. A lot of voiceover productions work that way so they don’t really need two characters who are leading a film in the same room together. I don’t know, maybe Jack was busy or working…I think sometimes they do have two actors in the same room, but for whatever reason, they didn’t. We both had two sessions. I think right away for the first session, he had already done his first. So, in his first session, he can’t have been able to hear me. That’s crazy. When I first went in, I was able to hear him! He’s in a little bit more of it than I am because there’s some explanation before they make it to the Batcave.

I could feel the chemistry. It’s an instinctual feeling because, as an actor, you’re used to feeding off someone’s energy in person. It’s that face-to-face interaction, and I’d done some voiceover before this, but this was the biggest, coolest thing I’ve done. There’s more dialogue and meat than I’ve ever had to do. I could feel what a good and generous and funny actor he was, so it was easy to play off that. 

Then, when the second session rolled around, the animation was much further along and everything was more developed. I really saw myself as Damian and Robin then. It became easy to have that confidence. I was nearly laughing with joy like a giddy little kid. It’s surreal as you’re watching it in the booth and you’re f***ing Robin!

It’s cool and I’m super grateful to the producers and Warner Bros. for taking me in. It was so much fun to get into the voice, especially. It’s very liberating as an actor coming from live-action. You might be a good actor and prepared and in character or whatever, but there’s still a little part of you where you’re thinking, ‘How do I look right now?’ There’s a vanity to it for me, to be honest, but when you’re in the booth, it’s so liberating because all that goes out the window. You’re in the mind of the character and you don’t care how you look because you know you look awesome [Laughs]. 

Fans have so often talked about who wins when Batman and Superman square off, but when it comes to Robin and Jonathan…how do you see that fight going? 

Oh man, that would be a great fight. Hopefully, we’ll get to do something like that one day. Who knows, man. I think Jonathan…the super aspect, at least in this story, is very new. Depending on how far along this fight is, I don’t know. I think Damian could hold his own, for sure. Damian is a badass and definitely one of the most trained, aggressive Robins that there is. I think he could definitely hold his own, especially to a new superpowered Jonathan. I’d have to go with Damian, for sure. 

Now you’ve dipped your toe into this animated DC Universe, have you given any thought to where you’d like to take Damian next should a sequel or another Batman project come your way? 

Absolutely. I hope nothing more than to be able to play this character again in any respect. I grew a lot as an actor and there’s still so much rich history to dive into if I was to play Damian again. There’s all the comics and so much to him. Yeah, a sequel would be a great place to start. I think the reactions from the fans at Comic-Con…I think it justifies it. We’ll see how the reaction is once it gets released. A sequel for Super Sons would be great and, you know, there are plenty of Batman stories that Robin appears in. I would love to be Robin for as long as Warner Bros. will let me. 

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.
 

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