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W.I.T.C.H.

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Jared. L Powell writes...

What has it been like to work on so many different show that so many people remember fondly?
What was your favorite show to work on out of all of them?

Greg responds...

1. It's very cool, honestly. Though, if I'm being even more honest, I do wish that I'd been able to make more of fewer series than so many different series.

2. Choosing between my "children" is not something I tend to do. Ultimately, I truly enjoyed working on Gargoyles, WITCH, The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice as a writer-producer. And although it was never "my" show, the writing team on Shimmer & Shine were such great people, that I truly loved working with them on it.

Response recorded on July 02, 2021

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Katharine writes...

Hello Greg,
I would like to ask a question regarding W.I.T.C.H. as well to thank you for the wonderful job you have done with the second season. It seems to me the series is sadly overlooked & hardly remember and seen for the clever, clever thing it is. I know it has been really very long and it's perfectly alright if you simply no longer remember.
At the end of the second season Nerissa is revealed to be trapped within the jewel while the others suceed in escaping their prison.

Was there ever a plan should the series continue for her to realise that what she sees is mere illusion or was it your intention she be trapped for good?

Did you intend to continue her story?

Do you think she would be likely to wake from her dream or rather secretly prefer the fallacious bliss of her own illusion ?

Again, thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

I didn't have any immediate plans to extract her. And the comic gave me plenty of fodder to go on without her, as I vaguely recall. But it's tough to keep a good villain down, so - knowing me - I might have gotten back to her eventually. Maybe. But it's all very hypothetical.

Response recorded on July 02, 2021

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Anonymous writes...

Hi, I'm a massive fan of yours and I was wondering if there would ever be a possibility of you bringing back the tv series W.I.T.C.H? So many people adored the show and would love if it was brought back to TV.I know you were a producer and it seems like a very long shot, but there is actually a petition with nearly 3000 supporters that are willing to do anything we can to help bring back the show. The show had and still has so many supporters of it and if you could do anything to bring us a third season we would be eternally grateful to you please respond!

Greg responds...

There's nothing I can do, I'm afraid. I'd be happy to produce more episodes, but that's really up to Disney, not me.

Is W.I.T.C.H. available on Disney+? If it is, that's a way for the fans to try to get the show back. Petitions are nice and all, but have little effect these days. But by subscribing to Disney+ and voting with your wallet by rewatching a series over and over again, the chances of success are greater.

In essence, that's what brought YJ back.

Response recorded on July 01, 2021

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Lately I've been thinking of a villain trope that is decades (if not centuries) old. The maniacal laugh or the evil laugh. When used properly, I love it. When not, it can be hammy, over the top, and out of character.

Several of the villains you've written over the years have used it, and many haven't.

Off the top of my head, Thailog comes to mind first. And I wouldn't want Thailog without it. Granted, I sometimes wonder where he picked it up. It definitely wasn't from Xanatos. And while Sevarius might be hammy, I don't recall him doing it.

Hyena also has a maniacal laugh, and given her name (and personality) it definitely suits her.

The Archmage had a maniacal laugh.

Demona laughed maniacally three or four times. But it's not a trait we normally associate with her.

And let us not forget the Green Goblin in "Spectacular Spider-Man". I think he was the only villain on the show to have one. Likewise, I recall Nerissa doing it on "W.I.T.C.H." at least once.

The Joker aside, I do not recall any of the villains on "Young Justice" doing it. Any of them. Maybe I'm misremembering, it's been a while since I watched through the show, but I am struggling to remember and coming up blank.

Which leads to me to ask. Is the maniacal laugh a dated relic? Especially as we expect supervillains to be more sophisticated in our dramatic fiction, superhero or otherwise.

For example, in "Transformers", the classic Megatron used to laugh maniacally all the time. All the time. More modern takes on Megatron have done away with the maniacal laugh.

I love it, don't get me wrong, but should villains still be doing it. If we ever get more "Gargoyles", I definitely want Thailog to continue doing it. But, had Thailog made his debut in the year 2017, would I still want him doing it?

You have gotten the chance to create your own great supervillains as well as write many of the classic and iconic supervillains. Right now, what are your thoughts on the villainous laugh?

Greg responds...

I haven't exactly studied this issue.

I use it when it feels right in terms of character and situation. Obviously, some characters have more of a sense of humor about what they do than others.

Not all villainous laughs qualify as "maniacal" in my book either.

I would never outlaw the practice, but I think I do use it sparingly, both to avoid silliness and to make it special if and when we do use it.

Response recorded on June 29, 2021

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FallenLegend writes...

And another question from me. I feel bad for doing so much, but given these are like a year away I kinda want to talk advantage of now before the flood of YJ season 3 questions.

I wanted to share my thoughts on W.I.T.C.H

Your writing was superb, but I did wonder why it failed to beat WINX club on popularity despite having your superior writing. WITCH was popular on Italy, but otherwise it's not the cash cow franchise WITCH still is.

I read a bit of the comic and some of the show season 1 (things you didn't do). My impression is that the concept was great, the artwork was gorgeous. But the execution was flawed.

W.I.T.C.H had for the most part poor villains from the source material. Phobos despite being their "nemesis", their joker to their batman, is particularly as flat as a sheet of paper. Evil without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. The complete opposite of your great villains.

Phobos whole character is basically "I want ultimate power and I will always do evil" He is so predictable that he will backstab or do evil always.

WINX had the advantage there as the trix definitively are more interesting. It would seem as they took notes from you as they are like you said "a twisted reflection of the hero."

The girls were very overpowered in the original comics. I glanced the wiki and they have even more powers than Superman, each. Say Hay Lin can turn invisible or "hear the past" and for example and not even Avatar Aang or Korra can do that.

Now your influence was great as you did a great job with Nerissa improving the source material giving her depth she didn't had. You never disappoint on villiains.

By saying it was too easy for them,I'll give an example. It's telling how on season 2 (before you worked on the show) all the girls had their "soulmates" . While Peter was still struggling with love on season 2. Also on season 2 the main couples Wally X Artemis and Superboy Miss Martian were struggling in one way or another. By the end of Gargoyles, Eliza and Goliath still had room to grow as a couple and so on.

I feel a lot of character development was stolen before you got to them. But I think you did the best with what you got.

For a magical girl show the magic trinkets was unnecessarily complex, I think. Meaning all of them had to be close to the heart to transform and close to WIll. WINX had them not dependent on a jewel. As far as kids playing as WINX they had more fun without a doubt. But again this was from the source.

As for the girls you defitiveley wrote them better than WINX. But I feel that girls wanted to be more like Bloom (their redhead lead) than Will. Bloom was a secret flame princess or something and Will had divorced parents. Which made Will more relatable but less escapist.

Regardless I just want to say that I loved what you did on that show. In fact I only checked it out because you worked on it.

I would love to see you develop a magical girl show, but on your terms.

So my question would be, what are your thoughts on it?
Keep the good work!

Greg responds...

I WISH my answers had only been a year away and not nearly four years. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I've never seen WINX. So I have no opinion on it one way or another, and I can't compare the two series. But I truly LOVED doing WITCH and would have loved to have done a third season. I had definite ideas, based on the comics and coming out of what we had already built in Season Two.

Response recorded on June 28, 2021

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Alex writes...

I couldn't find the answer to the question but,

The staff that Nerrisa had at the beginning of the 2nd series, not the seal of Nerissa, but the one she was carrying as an old hag. What was the deal with that one? Was she trying to make a fashion statement?

Greg responds...

My memory's not too clear on this. Maybe she needed it to walk when she was in that form?

Response recorded on October 16, 2019

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Big Choc Choc writes...

Would you come back for a Season 4?

Greg responds...

Of what?

(But pretty much the answer is always yes.)

Response recorded on April 05, 2018

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Em writes...

Hi Greg,

I'm a longtime fan of everything W.I.T.C.H., so I appreciate you taking the time to answer questions about the animated series all these years later. It helps keep the series and its magic alive even after it (unfortunately) ended.

My question is in regards to the Matt-Shagon twist (which is still to this day one of my favorite adaptational changes and TV plots overall). I really enjoyed how Matt developed as a character in the second season, and, of course, this storyline played a huge role in his characterization.

I realize that it's been years and the exact reason might not be clear anymore, but I figured I'd ask: what made you decide to pursue this storyline with Matt? So many interesting developments came out of this twist, and by the end of the season I felt there were even more potentials that could be explored, had the series continued. I've just always been curious about how this idea came up.

Thanks so much!

Greg responds...

It's all very vague now, but as I recall, there seemed to be some mystery over who Shagon really was in the comics, mystery that never was revealed nor paid off. So I slotted Matt into that role, to make the mystery pay off and to give Will the maximum amount of turbulence.

Response recorded on October 09, 2017

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Jacob writes...

Hi Greg,

I'm a big fan of your works and I greatly admire your determination to always keep going. Congrats on Young Justice Season 3, by the way: power from the fans to you!

What I'm writing about is W.I.T.C.H. I have recently binged the two seasons and I've fallen. In. Love with the show! Also read your thing about Irma being gay. Not sure I agree, but hey, today anything is possible. Nerissa and Cassidy being together? Maybe ;-).

I was SO bummed that it never got a 3rd season for the other arcs (I bet it could have gone at least 4 or 5 seasons), but is it possible it could make a comeback- if not this year, than maybe next?

One main reason it was cancelled (other than some silly ratings) was because Winx Club had shown up. Now that it's ended, W.I.T.C.H. could make a comeback and gain more popularity like it did in season 1 (I read a lot of people liked both series, so they'd be happy). Also, the 10th anniversary of the comic was last year and they've started reprints of the Disney comics in the native Italy. That could help gain attention again if they start reprinting in America. Plus, I doubt Disney XD wouldn't say no to a show like that on their action and comedy airspace, especially with your work on Rebels. They could re-air the first two seasons and then unveil Season 3. I bet even the original actors would go for it (work, pay, and fun all at the same time).

So what do you think? Is it possible?

P.S. Good luck with your other projects.

Greg responds...

Ratings aren't silly. They're what pays the bills. And Winx had little to do with it. There could be a hundred Winx variations on the air, but if WITCH had strong ratings it wouldn't have mattered.

Anything is possible, but it doesn't seem likely - unless the fans PROVE that there's a market for it, as they did with Young Justice. Not sure how to do that with WITCH, however. Fans had an outlet to show their support financially on YJ. Not sure what that outlet would be on W.I.T.C.H.

But I'd love to do more, if given the opportunity.

Response recorded on September 19, 2017

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Emma writes...

Thanks for taking the time to answer so many fan questions. I was a big W.I.T.C.H. fan when it was on the air and one thing that always confused me in season 2 was when Nerissa said that Caleb was created by her "entirely for that purpose" (of leading the rebellion.) Did she actually have some role in him becoming the leader of the rebellion and can she have possibly have known it before he was even born? Or was she just saying that to get in his head at that moment?

Greg responds...

All of the above.

Response recorded on August 08, 2017


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