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Kirill writes...

Hello, Greg, first of all, thank you for giving millions of children, including me, the W.I.T.C.H. television franchise.

It has been more than 15 years since the popularity of this series and now Disney clearly does not know how to win an audience..
1) I have a question, do you happen to know or maybe you've heard something about adding old cartoons to Disney Plus?
I understand that W.I.T.C.H. has been abandoned by everyone for a long time, but I wonder if they are somehow going to add this cartoon to streaming in order to warmly review all 2 seasons and so that others get acquainted with the best cartoon of the 2000s
2) By any chance, you will not return to cooperation with Disney in any way?
I would like to see season 3 of WITCH

Greg responds...

1. I have no idea. Sorry.

2. I'd be happy to do more W.I.T.C.H. if Disney wanted more.

Response recorded on May 25, 2022

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Michael Broder writes...

Is Henchy an original character, based on someone from the comics, or both?
Have you ever thought of doing a motion comic where the actors read the whole comic?

Greg responds...

1. He's more-or-less original. He's based on a model created for the Green Arrow Showcase short and a specific voice that I love, which actor Steve Blum has used for me in multiple series: Raythor (W.I.T.C.H.), Blackie Gaxton (The Spectacular Spider-Man), Zeb (Star Wars Rebels).

2. Yes. I'd love to do that. But there's no budget for it, generally. The YJ Wiki did a few using volunteer labor and volunteer voice actors. Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42QKFkSy4DU

Oh, and what the heck, here's another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N3Z2b-UlTE

Response recorded on May 05, 2022

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NoOneSpecial writes...

Decided to re-watch W.I.T.C.H this week. Really loved the work you guys did on the show for Season 2. Not to disparage the people who worked hard on Season 1 as well, but the show really becomes something special in the second season

1. When Nerissa became corrupted, the Oracle took the Heart of Kandrakar from her and gave it to Cassidy. But the general rule is that a Heart must be given willingly. So how could the Oracle take the heart from Nerissa if she wasn't willing, which I very much must assume she wasn't.

2. Did Nerissa plan to have a child with Julian? Did she intentionally seduce him in order to conceive Caleb? Or was his birth accidental and something she didn't plan on? When speaking to Caleb, she makes it sound as though she wanted to have a child, so that Caleb could 'lead' the rebellion to victory against Phobos, though reading between the lines, that just sounds more like Nerissa trying to take credit for an obviously coincidental success after the fact in order to validate her actions, which certainly fits with her character. So, why did she initially have Caleb?

3. When did C.H.Y.K.N retire from their Guardian duty? Was it after Kadma left the group to live on Zambala? Also, who had the Heart of Kandrakar following Cassidy’s death?

4. You said before that Irma was gay but that she tries to "fight to be straight" by going after guys that are inherently unattainable, which sounds as though she was not yet fully accepting of her sexuality. Does mean the rest of W.I.T.C.H were unaware of her sexuality by the end of Season 2?

5. I really love the episode titles going as letters of the alphabet. It's really clever especially when you have exactly 26 episodes to work from. Whose idea was this originally? Would you have been inclined to do it again for Season 3?

Greg responds...

It's been a VERY long time since I've seen these episodes - let alone since we produced them - so my memories are extremely vague. Therefore, take the following answers with a massive grain of salt.

1. Maybe she was willing at first but then had second thoughts (and resentments).

2. I'm thinking a part of Nerissa loved Julian. When she discovered she was pregnant, she wanted the child. The rest is self-justification, after-the-fact.

3. I just don't remember. And I don't have the same documentation on W.I.T.C.H that I have on Gargoyles and YJ.

4. Yes, that's what it means.

5. It was my idea, inspired by the title of the series and by the fact that we had a 26-episode order. It seemed right.

5a. Hard to say.

Response recorded on May 03, 2022

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GTM writes...

As a long time fan of the original WITCH comic, I will admit that it took me a while to deal with the animated series, because so much was changed in Season 1. Then Season 2 happened and it not only became more like the comics, it got me to enjoy the animation’s take on the girls a whole lot better than the first season. Thank you for bringing a whole new kind of WITCH to life :)

And, of course, as being on this site implies, I have questions, but I don’t want to ask them all in one sitting, as that would be too much and some have already been asked by others, so I’ll pace myself.

So, for the first question, I’ll start with something small: you mentioned that a new member would join the team during the Season 3 that never was, like in the comics. Just to clarify, are you talking about Orube?

Greg responds...

Probably. I'm forced to admit that W.I.T.C.H. was SO long ago, by memory of my previous plans is rather dim. But Orube makes some sense, so...

Response recorded on February 10, 2022

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Hazel writes...

1. Did Wendy Harris and Marvin White ever clue into the fact that the public hero Superboy was their old classmate?

2. As someone who absolutely adored Kelly Stables' work in W.I.T.C.H., I'm very happy that you roped her in to voice Cissie. Thanks.

3. I noticed that you gave Orphan a Z-designation, but not a B-designation. Was she even a formal member of the team when Season 3 started?

Greg responds...

1. No spoilers.

2. I was very happy, too! Kelly is always great!

3. Nope.

Response recorded on February 09, 2022

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Verdragon writes...

1. What was the casting process behind Jesse McCartney as Dick Grayson, and did it have anything to do with his roles as Roxas and Ventus in Kingdom Hearts?
2. What was the casting process behind Alyson Stoner as Barbara Gordon?

Greg responds...

1. He auditioned. We cast him.

1a. Nope.

2. I honestly don't remember. I know we didn't hold auditions for the part. I'm trying to recall if perhaps she auditioned for Miss Martian, and whether we perhaps liked her and kept her in mind. I had also worked with Alyson previously (when she was barely a teenager) on W.I.T.C.H., in which she played Lilian Hale. So maybe I suggested her. Or maybe Jamie Thomason did. I just can't recall.

Response recorded on January 26, 2022

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EDWARD ASNER

So...

This is hard.

It's been a bit of a stressful weekend, as my father went into the hospital with chest pains. A stint that had been replaced last year had failed and was replaced again Saturday morning during an angioplasty. I've been concerned, worried. But the procedure seemed to go well, and he was set to go home today. We seemed to have dodged a bullet.

But there was a second gun.

I slept in today. I woke up to two pieces of news:

1. My dad was good. Solid. My sister picked him up at the hospital and took him straight to breakfast. (My mother was annoyed at not being included - but that's a whole other story.) He's home now. I've talked to him. He sounded cheerful. All good.

2. Ed Asner had passed away.

I spent most of the day doing laundry and other mundane tasks. Life goes on, right? It has to. But it's been difficult getting my head around the whole thing. I've gotten many calls and texts today, offering condolences as if I were part of the Asner family. Folks seem to know how close I felt to Ed. But I don't want to exaggerate. Ed was my friend. I hope he knew I was his, as well. But I haven't talked to him in at least a couple of years. (You can partially blame that on the pandemic, I suppose. There are a lot of people I've lost touch with. If anything, this is a reminder to GET in touch. And I'm going to make an effort to do that.) In any case, there are many, many people who knew Ed better than I did, who were closer to Ed than I was.

Nevertheless, at the risk of turning this post into my own self-aggrandizement, I am going to spend a few paragraphs here on the subject of the Ed Asner that I knew and loved.

I was a fan of Ed's long before I met him. Like many, many people, he first entered my awareness playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Later, I got a kick out of picking him out of reruns, where he usually played the heavy in such series as The Wild Wild West and others.) But as Lou, Ed was simply brilliant. One of the truly classic scenes in all of television is the scene in the TMTMS pilot, where Lou interviews Mary for a job. Do yourself a favor and view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj286uBKCu0

That scene had a major effect on me, even seeing it as a kid.

Now, having just rewatched it, the genius of the writing and the two performances still knocks me out. But there was something else about Lou and Mary. Watching their interactions was a bit like watching my parents. The connection in my mind between Lou and my dad was especially strong.

Ed and my father were two Ashkenazi Jews from the midwest. My dad was from Chicago; Ed, from Kansas City. They were gruff AND loving. They even had mannerisms in common. There was much more, I'm sure, that they DIDN'T have in common. But something connected the two men in my mind. And, meanwhile, my admiration for Asner as a performer knew no bounds. When I saw him in the Lou Grant series, in Rich Man, Poor Man, in Roots, that admiration only increased. When I learned of his activism - and the price he paid for it - that admiration shot through the roof.

Years later, when we had begun pre-production on GARGOYLES, I thought of Ed Asner - or of Lou Grant, at least - as the inspiration for Hudson. In fact, when we held auditions for the role, I wrote at the bottom of the character description that "Hudson hates spunk." This was, of course, a variation on Lou's classic line from the above job interview scene. Now, to be clear, I never imagined we'd get Ed to play the role. I figured he was way too big a star for us to land. But low and behold, a few days later, Ed came in to audition for the part. Later, he told me that when he read the character description, he was initially thrilled. The "Hudson hates spunk" line made him feel like he was a lock to land the role. Then a couple minutes later, he thought that if he didn't land the role it would really be awful. But of course, he immediately understood the character and nailed his audition... only for Jamie Thomason and I to throw him a curveball, asking him to do it again in a Scottish accent. He nailed that, too.

Working with Ed was a joy. He was fun and funny and so supportive. In addition to playing Hudson (and Burbank and Jack Danforth/Dane) on Gargoyles, I also cast him as recurring characters on Max Steel (Chuck Marshak), 3x3 Eyes (Grandpa Ayanokoji), W.I.T.C.H. (Napoleon the talking cat), Young Justice (Kent Nelson) and Rain of the Ghosts (Joe Charone). When casting Peter Parker's late Uncle Ben in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ed was the only person I ever considered. He always brought so much to each and every role.

And more than that he was a great friend to me. After the first season of Max Steel, when I couldn't find a job for over a year and thought I might have to give up on my writing career, Ed was there, offering me support. We had lunch at Musso & Frank's. He looked at pictures of my kids out of my wallet and told me to laminate them. He introduced me to his son, Matt Asner, a producer. He didn't allow me to wallow in self-pity or to badmouth guys who I believed had done me wrong. He just reassured me that I had ability and would find my way through. He was, in essence, my work dad.

So today, as you might imagine, has been complicated. My dad is home and healthy. And Ed is gone. I'm grateful and sorrowful. And struggling. But life goes on. It has to, right?

Finally, I'm going to quote Hudson from Gargoyles. In "The Price," an episode that spotlighted the character, Ed as Hudson told Xanatos: "A friendly word of advice: True immortality isn't about living forever, man. It's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"

I think we all know that Ed Asner did amazing things with the time he had. And though we'll miss him dearly, his legacy is clear and shining.


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Abdullah Khan writes...

Hey Greg,
Q1)I wanted to ask regarding the castings for Young Justice Outsiders, How did you and the crew decide to give the roles of Geo-Force, Terra, Halo, Forager,Cyborg and Darkseid to Troy Baker,Tara Strong,Zehra Fazal,Jason Spisak, Zeno Robinson and Michael Leon Wooley?
Q2)And for replacments decide on David Kaye and Greg Cipes to be Vandal Savage and Beast Boy, i know regarding Greg as Beast Boy u did not cast him in the initially because u did not want any Teen Titans reprisals at the time so what change your mind instead of picking another actor because Logan Grove was unavailable for S3?

Greg responds...

Geo-Force - Brandon had worked with Troy Baker before and knew he was a good candidate to play Geo-Force/Brion Markov. We did have him audition (against no competition) just to confirm he could do the Eastern European accent without it sliding into Boris Badenov territory. He could. So we cast him. And he's been great as Brion and other characters ever since.

Terra - We held auditions for Terra/Tara Markov, and Tara Strong just nailed it.

Halo - I knew I wanted to cast Zehra Fazal as Halo / Violet Harper / Gabrielle Daou, and basically wrote the part with her in mind. Brandon and Jamie and I went to see her in a stage play, where she played multiple roles, so that they could confirm just how great and versatile she was.

Forager - With Wally West largely out of the picture, we knew we wanted to find something else to keep Jason Spisak in our cast. Brandon thought Forager would be a good bet and talked about the character with Jason, who loved the idea. We hired him without any try-out, and he was instantly great.

Cyborg - We held auditions for Victor Stone/Cyborg under the false flag of a pretend show with a fake character name. Zeno Robinson was our clear favorite for the role. We brought him in for a callback (with no competition), mostly to see if he had the versatility to play any other roles (such as Steel). We decided then and there that he was our Vic, and seeing Brandon and I in the Control Room, he had already begun to suspect whom he might be playing. We told him he had the role and confirmed he was playing Cyborg, and he practically BURST right in front of us. It was great fun.

Darkseid - We had already discussed a number of potential people to find YJ's version of Darkseid, when Brandon remembered Michael Leon Wooley's performance of the character from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Jamie and I listened, and immediately Michael had the job.

Vandal Savage - We held auditions to see who could do the best job performing in the giant shoes that the late, great Miguel Ferrer had left behind. David Kaye was the clear favorite.

Beast Boy - When it became clear that Logan Grove was not going to be available to us, we talked with Jamie about who might be able to take his place. After we described the character's journey in Season Three, Jamie suggested Greg Cipes, knowing that we might not go for it, but feeling like Greg'd be perfect for the part. I'd worked with Greg on W.I.T.C.H. and agreed, but our upper management had been pretty adamant about us not using Titans' lead actors to play the same roles they had played on Titans. (Other Titans' actors were kiboshed for certain parts for that reason.) It was something Brandon and I initially agreed with way back in Season One, but by this time, we felt YJ had established itself as its own thing, and we were less afraid of comparisons. And for whatever reason, TPTB were fine with us casting Greg as Beast Boy.

Response recorded on August 18, 2021

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B. B. writes...

Hello. Humble W.I.T.C.H. fan here.

One of the most mysterious characters for me is the Mage. So my questions are:
1.) Was the Mage a Guardian before C.H.Y.K.N.? (She is seen in the first season holding the heart of Kandrakar.)
2.) Why does the Mage's appearance change so drastically from the flashbacks to the current time? (She goes from a long haired beutiful woman to a bald and scary-looking hag. Is there a reason for that?)

Greg responds...

1. It's been a long time, but I don't believe so.

2. I just don't remember. Sorry!

Response recorded on July 26, 2021

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Mr. Red writes...

Hello, huge fan of your work, i have rewatched the first 13 episodes of Young Justice Outsiders 6 times over as i write this. I wanted to know, why is Greg Cipes voicing Beast Boy? Now i am a big fan of his and of course the his previous work as Beast Boy.

But i wonder what happened to Logan Grove, did he not want to reprise the role? Or was he to busy with other work? or was it already planned to have Greg come in and do the voice?

Greg responds...

We were looking forward to using Logan in Season Three, but were told that Logan was no longer acting and was attending Annapolis as part of the U.S. Navy. So after some discussion with our director Jamie Thomason, Brandon and I agreed that given where we were heading with the character, Greg Cipes (whom I'd enjoyed working with on WITCH) was our top choice to replace Logan as Garfield, irrespective of Greg's history with the character.

Response recorded on July 26, 2021


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