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You once said you held auditions for Impulse, Blue Beetle, Tim and another. Was that Static?
Yes, at the beginning of S2, we held auditions for Impulse/Bart Allen (Jason Marsden), Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes & Scarab (Eric Lopez), Robin/Tim Drake (Cameron Bowen) and Static/Virgil Hawkins (Bryton James). We already knew we wanted Mae Whitman to play Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark. And we already had Crispin Freeman for Arsenal, Logan Grove for Beast Boy, Yuri Lowenthal for Lagoon Boy, Alyson Stoner as Batgirl, Kevin Michael Richardson for Guardian, and Masasa Moyo as Bumblebee.
Note that for extra security/secrecy, we created a completely non-existent series for Jason, Eric, Cameron, Bryton and others to audition for. They had no idea they were auditioning for Young Justice.
I want to repost this question like you suggested:
I'm interested in your thoughts (and possibly Brandon Vietti's and Jamie Thomason's as well, if possible) on the casting process for the voices of the main characters of Young Justice. What was/is it that the main cast - Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Nolan North, Stephanie Lemelin, Danica McKeller, and Jason Spisak - bring to their respective characters that you, Vietti, and Thomason were looking for? In another question, you answered that the members of Young Justice were chosen based on a variety of factors (i.e. personality, dynamics, etc.). How did that play out in the casting process?
I'm not going to attempt to speak for Brandon or Jamie, though I'd lay odds our thoughts on this subject are at least similar. But I'll take the original six leads and - one by one - give a little bit about what I remember from ... nearly a decade ago.
B-01 Jesse McCartney as Robin - Jesse was one of the last actors cast, mostly because we were having trouble finding a Robin, and Jesse was part of a second (or third?) round of auditions that we went through in our search. We were looking for someone who could bring the fun of our thirteen-year-old kid. Who could do that gleeful laugh and pull off words like "whelmed" ... and still bring the serious when we needed it. Jesse could do all that. Was that because he himself had been a pro since he was a kid? I don't know. All I can tell you is he brought all those qualities.
B-02 Khary Payton as Aqualad - Khary actually had a strike against him, going in, because he played Cyborg on Teen Titans. As we wanted to distinguish ourselves from that series and Justice League Unlimited, we weren't too inclined to use regulars from those series as regulars in ours. But Khary's audition just nailed it, leaving us no choice. (Thank God.) He instantly "got" the character and instantly mastered that combination of wistful steadfastness, maturity and leadership we were looking for, without making the character suddenly older than his sixteen years. Plus he really nailed that feeling of English-as-a-second-language that we wanted our Atlantean to have.
B-03 Jason Spisak as Kid Flash - As Jamie often said, no one was better than Jason at bringing out his inner douche. Wally had to be both obnoxious and lovable. He had to be smart and a dope. He had to be Robin's best friend and a bit of a pain. Enthusiastic and insecure. Blustering and vulnerable. Jason was able to bring all those contradictions to life.
B-04 Nolan North as Superboy and Superman - This was tricky, too, as we needed someone who could play both Superman (age 33) and his clone Superboy (age 16). Nolan does an amazing job at playing both characters, making them sound distinct and yet genetically the same. Conner had to start out angry but have somewhere to go. There had to be heart and depth beneath his hardened exterior. Nolan did all that.
B-05 Danica McKellar as Miss Martian - We were actually looking for someone who had a bit of experience as a sitcom actress to play M'gann (and eventually Megan Wheeler and Marie Logan). Someone who understood those rhythms but could transcend them, as well. Someone who could play the insecurity that comes with hiding big secrets from the people she's closest to, but also be a bad ass when necessary. Someone who would be unafraid to be soft and (traditionally) feminine and not be hamstrung by that.
B-07 Stephanie Lemelin as Artemis - Artemis needed edge. She was the tough girl, particularly in contrast to Miss Martian. But underneath it, she - like most of the other characters - had some vulnerability and a lot of insecurity because of the secrets she too was hiding. Stephanie brought that edge.
And, of course, all six brought - in addition to their acting skills and intuitive understanding of the character - certain vocal qualities that just felt like they fit the designs of the characters.
"I not only won't confirm or deny that Wally is coming back, I won't even confirm or deny that he's appearing in flashback, or confirm or deny that Jason Spisak is in any way involved with Season Three."
You do realize that there is a video of Jason in the studio with the rest of the season 3 cast, right? I guess he could just be stopping by to say hello to some of his old friends on the cast?
You do realize that voice actors are in recording studios for all sorts of different series and projects, right?
Been a long while since I've asked you anything here. I hope things are well with you. Sounds like you're busy these days and I'm glad to hear it.
I'm writing to ask you about Gargoyles. It's crazy to think that the property is approaching its 25th year. And very cool to think that "in-universe" Artus and other gargoyles around the world are less than a year away from hatching!
But what I'm writing about is the future of Gargoyles on television, in comics, novels, etc. It feels like the last few years have been very quiet for Gargoyles. The last Gathering is nearly a decade behind us. We've had no new material in even longer. Revisions on GargWiki only trickle in these days. Gargoyles fan sites are steadily being abandoned or dying. Even Ask Greg is far more of a Young Justice site these days. The Comment Room is pretty quiet, a shadow of what it was when I first discovered it over 17 years ago. And we fans are slowly growing older. And with all of these disheartening facts, I'm beginning to lose hope in new Gargoyles material from here on out.
It's hard for me to even admit that. I can remember getting very fired up and launching into pep talks when others would express similar thoughts over the years. Maybe I'm writing this in hopes of getting a pep talk myself. I don't know. Really, I just want to know what your thoughts on the future of Gargoyles is. Good or bad, I'd just like to hear it from the man himself.
Let me be clear: I'm not asking if you've given up on the property. I know that you have never failed to look for an outlet to tell your stories and I know that if you were given a chance you'd happily tell those stories in any medium. I'm just curious about your personal and professional opinion on any future Gargoyles products.
I will always be a fan. I will always love the stories you've told us. I will always have some hope that more stories will be told and I'll be quick to support the property if/when that happens. I'm just feeling like Gargoyles is all in the past. Honestly, am I right? Or am I just being dramatic? And if Gargoyles does have a chance in the future, what can we do to help it along after all these years?
Thanks, Greg. You rock. Thanks for everything!
You're just being dramatic. Which doesn't mean you aren't also right. Which doesn't mean there isn't hope. Confused yet?
Here's a hard truth: Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm. Why take a chance on a 25-year-old action property that (to their mind) has an aging/shrinking fanbase when you can exploit sure things like Star Wars and Spider-Man?
That's the big hump right now.
In addition, comic book publishing of Disney's licensed properties has been in disarray. As I'm sure you've noticed, we made some progress with Joe Books... and then it all fell apart. We're now waiting for Joe's license to lapse and are hopeful -actually hopeful - that we can make new comics happen with a new publisher. [Name of new publisher being withheld for now until a deal is made.]
So, no, of course I haven't given up. Gargoyles is my baby, and I'll never give up on it. I hope the fans won't either, but I understand there isn't much new to talk about these days, so it's natural that interest wanes. But I hope if and when there is something new to talk about, the fans will help me launch a campaign to get that new stuff noticed.
I truly believe that our best bet right now is, in fact, comic books. I can tell original canon stories (with little or no interference), and then we can use the comics to demonstrate that the property is still viable, just as we used Netflix to prove that Young Justice was still viable.
I'm also hopeful that once Disney has its own version of Netflix up and running in 2019 (just in time for our 25th Anniversary), that they'll put Gargoyles up there for streaming. Then we can begin a #KeepBingingGargoyles campaign, and who knows what might happen?!
Meanwhile, though it's true we haven't had an official Gathering since 2009, we did have a Gargoyles-convention-within-a-convention that was VERY successful at CONvergence in 2014 in Minneapolis, honoring the show's 20th anniversary. We did all the old Gathering stuff: showed the videos, multiple panels on the subject (including the biology/cultural panel), an original Gargoyles Radio Play, and we had Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur & Greg Guler there, as well. Many old Gargoyles fans showed up, and we had a blast. http://www.convergence-con.org/about/archive/2014-convention/
I'll be back at CONvergence in July of 2018, and although it won't be a full-on Gargoyles convention-within-a-convention again, we will do a Radio Play, and I always do at least one Gargoyles panel.
Plus, I've been talking with a venue to do another Garg-con-within-a-con to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2019. I'll keep you posted here, but you should think about attending. It'll get the juices flowing.
So, no, don't despair. I'm always pretty upfront about the likelihood of anything happening, and right now it's a bit slim. But down the road, I still see a lot of potential. Stick with us!
Jason Spisak recently teased: "A tiny taste of Wally from the new #TTJudasContract movie for those who can't wait for #YJSeason3!"
I just wanted to say that even if this is reliable, I'm not taking anything for granted. This could mean anything, right? It doesn't mean you're resurrecting Wally. For all we know, Wally could just appear in a flashback.
I not only won't confirm or deny that Wally is coming back, I won't even confirm or deny that he's appearing in flashback, or confirm or deny that Jason Spisak is in any way involved with Season Three.
Hey, Greg,I've got to tell you something, Josh Keaton, the voice of Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man reprised the character in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video games and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, And he was going to reprise his role in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, But he was replaced by Drake Bell from Ultimate Spider-Man.
What do you think of this?
I think Josh is great, and my ideal Spider-Man. So I'm happy whenever he gets to do anything (but especially Spider-Man).
Was Snapper Carr supposed to have a larger onscreen role in young justice? In the comic book that the series was based off of he had a much larger role,why did you guys change that when you made the animated series?
The series was NOT based off the 90s Young Justice comic. That was one of MANY influences, of course. But the series was based on the entire DC Universe and 75 years worth of continuity, and the 1960s and 1970s Teen Titans were easily as great an influence on us as the 90s YJ series was.
Lucas Carr's role was exactly what we wanted it to be. Believe me, since I played the part, I would have loved to have given him more screen time. But we gave him as much as fit in our series, given our limited amount of minutes and episodes.
Hello Greg! I hope you are doing well and I want to congratulate you for Young Justice season 3 being commissioned. I cannot wait to see it. Here are my questions:
1. How long was your timeline for Spec Spidey, if you had one? I know you had eventual plans to go into Peter's college years and beyond if you had the chance, so I was curious if you had stories, characters, and events such as deaths, graduations, etc. planned out? I'm not asking what stories you wanted to tell but I am curious if you had a long outline, similar to Garg and YJ.
2. Why did you make MJ and Gwen friends in the series? It was a change I loved and considering where Pete and Gwen end up in the comics and where Pete and MJ end up, I thought it was a brilliant idea.
3. For YJ and Spec, was Jamie Thomasson a comic book fan? I ask because I wonder if him being a possible comic book fan helped him cast parts in the show easier. Did he only rely on your scripts or also on other source material?
Can't wait for YJ season 3 and hoping for Garg comics! And I still hold out hope you can write Spider-Man again in another form! Take care Greg and good luck.
1. I did have one. But I don't remember how long it was, and I don't have access to it here at my Warner Bros office.
2. I didn't come up with it. They were on and off friends in the comics.
3. You'd have to ask him, but I don't recall him being a hardcore geek like me.
I have some questions regarding Young Justice.
1) I heard you changed your position on the speedforce. Just to be clear, does it actually exist in the Young Justice universe?
2) Why did you choose the same voice actor that did Robin's voice in season 1 (Jesse Mccartney) to do Nightwing's voice?
1. I don't know that I changed my position as opposed to nuanced it slightly. And even that I did years ago. I'm still not a big fan of the concept. But instead of saying/claiming it doesn't exist, I took a couple steps back and said that no one on Earth-16 has heard of the Speed-Force. Whether or not it "exists" becomes a SPOILER REQUEST.
2. Cuz it's the same person, the same character, i.e. Dick Grayson. Was that not clear? That's like asking why did I chose Nolan North to play Superboy in Season One AND in Season Two. Why in the world would I change actors?
So in Young Justice, you cast Bruce Greenwood as Batman, but not John DiMaggio as the Joker. Any reason on ditching that match-up? I find it amusing.
I don't know why it's amusing. We weren't/aren't in continuity with the Red Hood movie. But we felt Bruce was right for our Batman, and that John's interpretation of Joker wasn't right for our version of the character. Love John's work, however, as any fan of The Spectacular Spider-Man must know.