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FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2008


Check back shortly to view the clip that was shown, as well as additional image.

SAN DIEGO -- Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network unveiled their new Batman animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, in a panel at Comic-Con International on Friday.

Panelists included producers Sam Register and James Tucker, voice director Andrea Romano, story editor Michael Jelenic, directors Brandon Vietti, Ben Jones, Michael Chang and Diedrich Bader, the voice of Batman.

Following are highlights:

* Tucker said, "Batman's a dark, tortured, angry character -- and we decided now to do that." He said the character is still "kick ass."

* Register said that Tucker was strongly impacted by Dick Sprang. "He's so into the old school," he said. "And we said, 'What if we took the Adam West title sequence and give it some balls."

Tucker said Sprang brought the same energy that Jack Kirby had. "Dick Sprang's Batman was always moving," he said. "To do what has been done wouldn't appeal to anyone. You would say, 'Oh, this again.' So I wanted to something different and fresh that wouldn't pale by comparison."

* Jelenic said Batman will rarely be in Gotham and there will be no Alfred or Commission Gordon. It will be Batman interacting with the DC Universe.

* Vietti said Tucker gave the directors old Sprang comics and they tried to match the compositions. "We had to keep the modern sensibilities in the action," he said. "It's not as overt as Teen Titans. It's still dynamic."

Vietti noted that there is a thick black line around the characters, per Tucker's instruction.

* A clip was then shown, heavily featuring Plastic Man, Blue Beetle and Green Arrow.

* Talking about the idea of teaming Batman up with other super-heroes, Register said, "This came from the fact that we had seen Batman done really well. Batman: The Batman Animated Series was the best animated show every done."

Register said that in a discussion with Bruce Timm, he suggested a friendlier version of Batman. "Basically, it was Bruce Timm giving us permission. The kind of animated Batman kind of said OK."

* Register said the title came from the "great history" of the character, and that DC Comics has been very helpful.

"Brave and the Bold put Batman with anybody but Robin and put him anywhere but Gotham," Register said, noting he bought numerous Brave and the Bold comics at last year's Comic-Con, where development of the show began.

* Register said there will be a two-parter with a special character.

* Romano said Batman will "not be a stand-up character." She said in the new series, viewers will see that the characters do have a sense of humor in certain situations.

* Bader said "it's an incredible gig" to play Batman. "Because in my household, I'm Alfred," he joked.

Bader said there is a perfect vision for the show. "That makes it easy to lock in," he said.

"It's light, but it's still keeping in the spirit of Batman," he added.

* Voice talent will include James Arnold Taylor as Green Arrow and Tom Kenny as Plastic Man.

* Villains will include Gentleman Ghost, Gorilla Grodd, Kite-Man and Zebra Man.

"We're digging deep," Tucker said.

Register said the creators are staying away from the key rogue's gallery until "special moments" and there will be lots of villains never seen in animation.

* Tucker said each guest-star brings different aspects out of Batman. "We have a two-parter in the works that's really kick ass," he said.

* Jelenic said that the Aquaman episodes are among his favorite. John Dimaggio does the voice.

* Jones said the new Batmobile is "pretty damn awesome."

* Romano talked about casting Bader. "A lot of the dialogue in this piece you hear what Batman thinking," she said, notoing that Bader was a clear choice from the auditions.

* Register said that creators worked closely with Mattel on the toy line, and the response to the Blue Beetle was very positive.

* The creators were coy about the use of Ted Kord in the series.

* Asked about "a certain crazy clown," Tucker said, "No."

* Asked about seeing the Flash, Tucker said, "You may."

* Bader said that he can usually tell when on-camera actores are working with him, because they want him to look at them.

* Tucker said that using Adam West is "a distinct possibility." Romano said, "I love to work with him whenever he's in town."

* Tucker said the intended audience is "6 to 100."

* Jelenic said that most of the characters that Batman teams with did not appear in the last season of The Batman. He noted that Batman and Green Arrow are best friends but are constantly squabbling, while Blue Beetle views him as his hero.

* Tucker said viewers won't be seeing the Justice League as a group. "It's a buddy show, not a team show," he said.

* Register said that Sprang's style allowed the creators to reset as an animated character.

* Bader said his Batman is "very laid back" and "the dry kind of relief."

"Batman is sort of a character that Bruce Wayne plays," Bader said. "It's about timing and the relationship of the characters."

* Bader said that he just recorded an episode where Blue Beetle has a crush on the Huntress.

* Will Friedle, the voice of Batman in Batman Beyond, provides the voice of Blue Beelte. "He's brilliant," Romano said.

* Fire will be in the show, and Tucker indicated there will be other females.

* Tucker said he is a big Justice Sociey fan and "they exist in this world."

* Black Canary will be appearing in the show, but Tucker wouldn't elaborate on what her relationship with Green Arrow will be.

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