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SAN DIEGO -- Even in the far-flung Marvel and Star Wars universes, Tom Kane is keeping it real.

Kane, a veteran voice actor, will be heard as Iron Man and Ultron in Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, Magneto in Wolverine and the X-Men, the Weapon X professor in Hulk vs. and Yoda and Admiral Yularen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

He said in working with Marvel projects recently, there has been a specific directive.

"They've wanted performances that were cinematic-sounding, that sounded like live-action, and not as cartoony as some things may have been in the past," Kane said, talking about Next Avengers, which reaches stores on Sept. 2. "From my point of view, that was a change in that they were really pushing me direction-wise to sound more real.

"Especially with Iron Man, it's a weird dichotomy because he's Tony Stark and he's Iron Man and we're familiar with the character, but we've never introduced the element where he's also a father. That was an interesting third dimension to Tony Stark/Iron Man that has never happened before. That's something that they were pushing me to do: to retain the angst of Iron Man and Tony Stark, but soften when he was with the kids."

Kane said working in voiceover can result in a wide range of projects.

"You will go from something in this case, where if you close your eyes, it could be a live-action movie. That's the goal anyway," he said. "And on the other hand, then there's something like Powerpuff Girls, which I was on, which is not remotely realistic."

Kane called working on the dramatic parts in Next Avengers "a real treat."

"For rank-and-file voiceovers guys, it's the closest we do get to acting," he said.

Kane isn't based in Los Angeles; he lives in Kansas City. He auditioned for a number of parts in Next Avengers, and the months of lag time between audition and actually recording led to what he called "an impromptu tap dance."

"I don't know whether it was miscommunication on my agent's part or me dealing with the chaos of my life, I thought I was doing Ultron. Period," Kane recalled. "I knew it was a critical part for the movie, obviously, but in terms of just volume of dialogue, as a robot, I didn't say a whole lot. My agent said, 'They want you to fly in to do this.'

"And I'm like, 'Why?' I said, no. And he said, "They think it's really important for you to be there.' So I 'm like, 'OK, they're the boss.'

"So we're sitting there (in the recording session) and I've already turned the script to the first Ultron line, which is about 40 pages into the thing. And he's going on and on about Tony Stark, and I go, 'That's interesting. That's a great backstory.' Not understanding why they're telling me so much about Iron Man and Tony Stark.

And this goes on. And we start going and it's like, 'Line one, take one.' And I'm like, 'What? What are you talking about?' He's like, 'We'll start with Tony.' And I'm like, 'Why?' And he's like, 'You're Iron Man.'

"It was just hysterical."

Kane had to come up with a new voice on the spot.

"There was a major case of flop sweat all of a sudden," he said. "I hadn't read any of the lines for Tony Stark for most of the script. I'm sitting here going, cold, 'Oh God, what do I do? What did I audition with? What did they like?'

"Suddenly, I had to run everything he had just said me through my mind again. Instead of going, 'Why he is telling me this?' Suddenly, I'm like, 'I know why he's telling me this. What did he just tell me?'"

Kane said the voice was understanding Tony Stark vs. Iron Man vs. a father. "We danced around until we found the right balance," he said. "Tony Stark has never been soft and warm and fuzzy and fatherly, and suddenly he is."

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