Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Worlds Collide in 'Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Trailer; Release Dates Announced

Update (3/14) - Below is the official press release announcing the release dates for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, via Anime Superhero:


HEROES UNITE TO COMBAT
MOUNTING VILLAINOUS PLANS AS
WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT, DC
AND NICKELODEON PRESENT

BATMAN VS.
TEENAGE MUTANT
NINJA TURTLES

COMING TO
4K Ultra HD™,
BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK AND DIGITAL

OWN IT EARLY ON DIGITAL ON MAY 14;
4K ULTRA HD & BLU-RAY DEBUT ON JUNE 4


Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

BURBANK, CA (March 14, 2019) – It’ll take the unlikely unification of the Dark Knight and the Heroes in a Half-shell to overcome combined villainous forces afoot in Gotham City in the all-new, feature-length animated thriller, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon and DC, the film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting May 14, 2019, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on June 4, 2019.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack ($39.99 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP), as well as on Digital ($19.99 HD, $14.99 SD). The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc featuring the film; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the film in hi-definition. The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack include a digital version of the film.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finds Gotham City reaching new levels of danger when Shredder joins forces with Ra’s al Ghul to enact a nefarious plan – leading to the team-up of the Dark Knight and the Turtles to combat the combined might of the Foot Clan and League of Assassins!


Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all-star cast is led by Troy Baker (Batman: Arkham Origins, The Last of Us) as the voice of both Batman and the Joker – making Baker the first actor to ever play both roles in the same film. Opposite Baker are the Ninja Turtles themselves – Emmy Award/Golden Globe Award/SAG Award winner Darren Criss (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Glee) as Raphael, Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) as Michelangelo, Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) as Donatello, and Eric Bauza (Looney Tunes Cartoons, The Woody Woodpecker Show) as Leonardo.

Other key members of the voice cast include Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Batgirl, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time, Futurama) as Mr. Freeze, Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!) as Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Penguin, Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911!) as Bane, Cas Anvar (The Expanse) as Ra’s al Ghul, Keith Ferguson (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) as Baxter Stockman & Two-Face, Brian George (Seinfeld) as Alfred, Ben Giroux (Hart of Dixie) as Robin, Andrew Kishino (The Lion Guard) as Shredder, and Jim Meskimen (Parks and Recreation) as Commissioner Gordon & Scarecrow.



Jake Castorena (The Death of Superman) directs Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a script by Marly Halpern-Graser (Mad, Batman Unlimited, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo). The film is inspired by the comic book series “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II (published by DC Comics and IDW Publishing) and is based on characters from DC and Nickelodeon. Ben Jones (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is producer. Executive producers are Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan. Sam Register and Chris Viscardi are executive producers.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Enhanced Content
Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital

  • Cowabunga, Batman! When Comic Worlds Collide (Featurette)– Super hero crossovers have inspired some of the most unique comics of all time. Explore the concept of the crossover, and see the creativity that ensues when the worlds of Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet.
  • Fight Night in Gotham (Featurette) – DC animated movies have continued to push the realism of hand-to-hand combat on-screen. Take an exciting look at both Batman’s and the Ninja Turtles’ fighting styles, and how the creators make it feel like you’re in the fight!
  • A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Batman: Hush – An advance look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will feature Dolby Vision™ HDR that dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will also feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

Fans can also own Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles via purchase from digital retailers beginning May 14, 2019.

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On May 14, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, FandangoNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On June 4, Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

ABOUT MOVIES ANYWHERE

Movies Anywhere is a digital movie platform that enables movie fans to discover, access, and watch their favorite digital movies in one place. Movies Anywhere brings together a library of nearly 7,500 digital movies from Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment) and Warner Bros., and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. By connecting participating digital retailers that include Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu, movie fans can now bring together their digital movie collections (whether purchased or redeemed) in one place and enjoy them from the comfort of their living rooms, and across multiple devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Roku® devices and popular browsers. Movie fans can also redeem digital codes found in eligible Blu-ray and DVD disc packages from participating studios and enjoy them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere – your movies, together at last.

ABOUT DIGITAL

Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services. For more information on compatible devices and services go to wb.com/digitalmoviefaq. Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.

BASICS

PRODUCT SRP
4K UHD Combo Pack $39.99
Blu-ray Combo Pack $24.98

4K and Blu-ray Street Date: May 14, 2019
EST Street Date: June 4, 2019
Blu-ray Languages: English, French, Spanish, German
Blu-ray Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for fantasy violence.

Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

About Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon, now in its 39th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon is one of the most globally recognized and widely distributed multimedia entertainment brands for kids and family, with 1.2 billion cumulative subscriptions in more than 500 million households across 170+ countries and territories, via more than 100+ locally programmed channels and branded blocks. Outside of the United States, Nickelodeon is part of Viacom International Media Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc.

About DC
Home to iconic brands DC (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), DC Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, DC is the creative division charged with strategically integrating across Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia. DC works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics in the world.

BATMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. © 2019 Viacom International Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

About Warner Bros. Animation
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. Theatrically, WBA’s full-length film, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, released on July 27, 2018. WBA’s TV series include Teen Titans Go!, Unikitty! and the upcoming DC Super Hero Girls and ThunderCats Roar for Cartoon Network; Be Cool Scooby-Doo!, Bunnicula, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Tom and Jerry Show, New Looney Tunes, Wacky Races and the upcoming Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who? and Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs for Boomerang; Mike Tyson Mysteries for Adult Swim; Green Eggs and Ham for Netflix; Harley Quinn and Young Justice: Outsiders for DC Universe; Animaniacs for Hulu; and the upcoming Looney Tunes Cartoons content initiative. As home to the iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Animated Original Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).

###

Update (4/3) - From ScienceFiction.com:

WONDERCON 2019: ‘Batman Vs TMNT’ – Roundtable Interviews

Before going in for the World Premiere of ‘Batman Vs. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ I (and a handful of colleagues from other online sites) sat down with some of the creatives from the film to talk about their experiences making the movie and get a sense of what to expect. All in all, everyone involved seemed to really love making the movie, working with the characters, and are big fans of what they were doing with the story, which is really exciting to see, but not that surprising considering that most of them grew up with both Batman and the Ninja Turtles, making this a kind of dream-project to work on.

According to writer Marly Halperin-Graser, they wanted an “old school cross-over” where “Gotham and New York exist in the same world.” Otherwise he said they:

“…tried to stick to the story and tone as much as they could….The general structure is very similar to the comic.”

When asked about the tone of the movie, especially in regards to Batman being very serious and what level of comedy the turtles would be operating at, Haperin-Graser replied:

“…the biggest inspiration [for tone] is the first 2 live-action TMNT movies…the puppet ones….[this is] the most violent movie the turtles have been in in some time.”

When speaking to producer Ben Jones about a potential sequel or other cross-over opportunities, he says he would love to do a Justice League/Power Rangers movie, even claiming “I have dibs” if it ever happens. When pushed about whether they would make another ‘Batman Vs. TMNT,’ he said:

“Nobody said anything about a sequel, but ideally it would be to bring in Krang and go more sci-fi.”

Next, we spoke to Andrew Kishino, the man who got to play Shredder for the movie, who was very excited about the role and the final product. In his words:

“I am excited to be Shredder, though nervous knowing how many people have inhabited this iconic role before…. I didn’t want to do a bad impersonation of someone else… [he wanted to] make sure the character behind the mask is what shapes him.”

When we got a chance to talk with director Jake Castorena, he had a lot to say about the various pressures of the movie, especially since he was not only answering to Warner Bros and DC, but also to Nickelodeon because of the Turtles. He told us:

“…it wasn’t easy… [figuring out] what is too jokey, too serious, too tame, we had to make a lot of bosses happy… In the end we just had to be genuine.”

Luckily for him, apparently Nickelodeon was very generous with the Turtles, and most of their notes were about making the best final product, not about making sure the Turtles looked good next to the DC characters, which is always a risk when working with two different studios. When I asked about the decision to remove the inter-dimension aspects of the story, Castorena said that at first, he was a little annoyed by the decision, though he quickly saw the logic of it:

“When I first read the script I thought ‘that’s bullshit! How can you cut Dimension-X, etc.’ Now I see that it is a God-send…”

As he explained it, without all the dimensions and portals, they did not have to keep re-explaining the science behind the cross-over throughout the movie, and could just focus on the story and the characters, which is what the fans really want anyway. We ended the Roundtable interviews by speaking to Troy Baker and Cas Anvar, who play Batman, the Joker, and Ras Al Ghul, with Troy being the first voice-actor to portray the Joker and Batman in the same movie. When asked what he thought when the producers asked him to do that, Troy jokingly replied:

“I thought they were drunk… I always felt like they were going to recast me.”

When Cas, who is a huge Ras Al Ghul fan (even to the point of not quite agreeing with DC’s recent statements of how to say the name properly) was asked if he thought Ras would ever consider Shredder to be an heir to the League of Shadows, he was almost insulted, answering:

“SHREDDER!?! …Ras likes people to be at least mentally stable…I don’t know if Ras would view Shredder to be that competent.”

The guys went on to talk about the nature of voice-acting, and how Troy doing two roles was not that out of the ordinary considering the fact that the man routinely talks to himself (which he and Cas laughed about), which meant even in scenes with Batman and Joker he apparently would just read straight through, talking to himself as both characters (though he did admit doing the Joker voice was challenging, and he envied Mark Hamill who seemed to do the character with such ease).

All in all, lots of cool information learned at the event, and now that I have seen the film, I can understand the excitement of the cast and crew about the movie. Make sure to check out my review of ‘Batman Vs. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie,’ and see the movie for yourself when it comes out on Digital on May 14th and Blu-Ray on June 4th!

###

Original post:

It was a comic crossover event for the ages and now it’s an animated movie!:



EW has unveiled the first trailer for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the brand-new direct-to-video movie inspired by the story arc from comic book writer James Tynion IV and artist Freddie Williams II, in which the famous half-shelled katana-twirling pizza lovers head to Gotham City. But their arrival doesn’t initially merit a warm welcome from the rumored “supernatural Bat creature” in town known as Batman.

The feature-length film, from director Jake Castorena and screenwriter Marly Halpern-Graser, sees the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tracking Shredder to Gotham City, where the villain teams up with Ra’s al Ghul and other members of the Dark Knight’s rogues’ gallery to enact a mysterious plot. Just like another V movie between two superheroes, these sets of good guys may throw a few punches at each other before realizing there’s a far more real enemy lurking in the shadows.


In the comics, the worlds of Batman and the TMNT collide through a dimensional warp. For this film, it was through a massive collaboration between Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon, and DC.

Batman vs. TMNT features the Heroes in a Half Shell arriving in Gotham City through some sort of dimensional shenanigans to pursue the Foot Clan and their activities there. Of course, Batgirl and Robin eventually catch wind of this, and let the Dark Knight know.

Batman being Batman, he's immediately suspicious of the Turtles, while the Turtles themselves have already made an impression on Gotham's villains. As Shredder teams up with Ra's al Ghul to let all of the city's most dangerous supercriminals out of prison, the Turtles must convince Batman that they're on the same side, even if he's not making that particularly easy for them. Batman's face when he realizes who he's facing is worth the price of admission all by itself.

The trailer features, among other things, the TMNT squaring off against The Penguin and his goons before encountering the dark knight himself, and a brief glimpse of a Batman/Shredder fight. There is also a scene where Batman fights ninjas.


With Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Troy Baker, a voice actor from video games Batman: Arkham Origins and The Last of Us, becomes the first to ever play both Batman and the Joker in the same film. Team Bats is rounded out by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Rachel Bloom as Batgirl, Henry Danger and Hart of Dixie's Ben Giroux as Robin, Seinfeld's Brian George as Alfred, and Parks and Recreation's Jim Meskimen as Commissioner Gordon.

Emmy winner Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace) leads the voice cast behind the Turtles as Raphael, accompanied by Saturday Night Live's Kyle Mooney as Michelangelo, Grace & Frankie's Baron Vaughn as Donatello, and Rise of the TMNT, Lucky and The Woody Woodpecker Show's Eric Bauza as Leonardo.


And now for the horde they’ll face…

John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time) voices Mr. Freeze, Tara Strong (Fairly OddParents, Teen Titans Go!) voices both Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants, Rocko's Modern Life) voices Penguin, Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko's Modern Life, Fairly OddParents, Reno 911!) voices Bane, Cas Anvar (The Expanse) voices Ra’s al Ghul, Keith Ferguson (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) voices Baxter Stockman and Two-Face, Andrew Kishino (The Lion Guard) voices Shredder, and Meskimen voices another character with Scarecrow.

Ben Jones of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman: The Brave and the Bold is also on board as a producer, while Benjamin Melniker, Michael Uslan, Sam Register, and Chris Viscardi serve as executive producers.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be released through Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack this spring, following its world premiere at WonderCon Anaheim 2019 on Sunday March 31, 2019!

Check out the trailer above!

“This spring, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Entertainment are teaming up with DC Entertainment and Nickelodeon for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an all-new animated movie that unites everybody’s favorite Heroes in the Half-Shell with the Caped Crusader for the first time outside of the comics page. Based on the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics miniseries by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II, the film will see the turtles meeting Batman and feature our heroes teaming up to face Batman’s deadly rogues gallery.”

###

Update (5/1) - From The Beat:

Striking Hard and Fading into the Night with the Cast & Crew of BATMAN VS. TMNT

At the WonderCon we talked with the Batman vs. TMNT cast/crew about the crossover team-up nobody saw coming!

Crossovers between different properties are nothing new yet more often than not often reek of desperation and/or a cheap marketing ploy. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone of the infamous 1990 Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue ant-drug special. However, when a Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated feature was announced back in February, there was absolutely no hint of cynicism from fans. In fact, I’d go far as to say the reaction online to this joint project from Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and Nickelodeon was overwhelmingly positive. Based on the crossover comic Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniseries published by DC Comics and IDW and written by James Tynion IV and drawn by Freddie Williams II, the comic proved a critical and commercial success resulting in two more sequels, the third and final installment hitting shelves in May. Fans fortunate enough to attend WonderCon last month had the chance to catch the Batman vs. TMNT world premiere long before the general release and The Beat caught up with the cast/crew about bringing this unlikely team-up to life.

When adapting any work for another medium, changes are bound to occur and Batman vs. TMNT is no exception. Perhaps the biggest departure from the main comic is that Batman and the Turtles inhabit the same world as opposed to interdimensional travel. It’s a change producer Ben Jones endorsed from the start. As he explained, “I like the old DC/Marvel crossovers like Superman versus Spider-Man and Batman versus Hulk. Their approach was basically Superman lives in Metropolis, Spider-Man lives in New York. They just never meant until now. The advantage of that was it saves us a lot of time in storytelling and mileage. We didn’t have to keep explaining this portal technology over and over again. That gave us more time for punching which is always fun.”


Obviously, since dimensional plays such a pivotal part of the Tynion/Williams mini, it was up to screenwriter Marly Halpern-Graser to translate the spirit of the comic while taking taking the story in a different direction. “What I tried to do was stick to the general structure and tone of the comic as much as I could even with the changes we would have to make. I tried to find specific scenes from the comic that I thought would work really well in a moving animated medium and tried to get them in verbatim,” said Halpern-Graser. “The overall general structure of the movie is very similar to the comic even though we had to change a lot of the details. There are specific scenes and moments lifted directly from the comic which I’m really really glad we were able to get in because the comic is really great.” Two particular Michelangelo moments from the comic that Halpern-Graser was extremely pleased to get into the film were Mikey atop the T-Rex in the Batcave and riding a skateboard and bumping into Alfred.


For director Jake Castorena, who considers this a bucket-list project, the idea of removing the dimensional aspects seemed blasphemous but he realized it was a “godsend.” To his surprise Batman and the Turtles fit in perfectly with each other. “These universes are not that different. They both study ninja and Bushido. It’s about discipline it’s about striking hard and fading away into the night. I know that’s a Turtle’s quote but how often does Batman live by that creed. There was a lot of figuring out that we didn’t need to do because it just worked. We were able to try to take the existing mythos and just hopefully add to and embellish them more.”

The Caped Crusader and Turtles in a Half-Shell have been reinterpreted countless times over the course of their respective histories, oscillating between their original dark and gritty origins to more lighthearted humor. “We want Batman to be a little more serious than the Turtles so that there’s contrast,” said Halpern-Graser. “And we want the Turtles to be a little more serious than they were the 80’s cartoon so that they fit in this world with Batman so it doesn’t feel like they’re in a different cartoon.” Viewers will notice that the Turtles have all-white eyes as opposed to irises and pupils, which typically signifies a tone more in line with the ’84 Mirage comics. Veteran comic artist Andy Kuhn whose credits include the current IDW TMNT series actually drew the preliminary designs for the film with lead character designer Steven Choi coming in and making Kuhn’s designs more animation friendly.

Batman vs. TMNT certainly doesn’t shy away from violence and earns its PG-13 rating. Halpern-Graser cited the first 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action film as a jumping off point for this version of the Ninja Turtles in that, “[While] the Turtles themselves are very goofy, the movie takes the world relatively seriously.” Hardcore fans will definitely catch some of the direct homages to the 1990 film such as the shot of Shredder when he first confronts the Turtles replicated exactly when he first appears in the animated film. As an old-school fan of the Turtles in Time on the Super NES, Castorena advised to be the on lookout for references to that classic video game.

When it came to casting the vocal talent, executives from all companies involved weighed in, with Gene Vassilaros who works primarily for Nickelodeon serving as casting director. One of the mandates from Nickelodeon according to Ben Jones was not to use the existing actors from the then current TMNT animated series. For Batman vs. TMNT the filmmakers enlisted Eric Bauza as Leonardo, Darren Criss as Raphael, Baron Vaughn as Donatello, and Kyle Mooney as Michelangelo. Funny enough, Halpern-Graser and Baron Vaughn are friends going back to when they both performed standup comedy in the early 2000’s and Vaugh evening voicing a character the Right Now Kapow cartoon that Halpern-Graser co-created. Halpern-Graser was always going to push for Vaughn as Donatello but it turned out he didn’t have to since Vaughn was also producer Ben Jones’ top choice.

This project isn’t the first foray into the world of Ninja Turtles for former animator turned voice performer Eric Bauza. Having played the villainous Tiger Claw in the aforementioned 2012 Nickelodeon cartoon, Bauza currently voices the rodent sensei Master Splinter in Rise of the TMNT. Moreover, much like voice legend Rob Paulsen, Bauza has the distinction of voicing two different Turtles in multiple projects—Donatello in the TMNT: Don vs. Raph animated short and even Leonardo in another animated short Turtles Take Time (and Space) long before Batman vs. TMNT. As it turned out, voicing Leo is quite a unique experience for him. “It’s the weirdest voice because it’s just my own. I’m used to not using my voice. It’s definitely hyped up a bit in the film.,” Bauza attested. “This version of Leo is back to basics. He is the leader in blue.”

Much like Bauza, Andrew Kishino didn’t begin as a voice actor. Kishino’s time in the music industry eventually led him to pursuing a career in voice acting. An unabashed fan of the original 80’s Mirage comics Kishino also had a role in the 2012 TMNT cartoon as the Purple Dragon gang member Fong. This time around, he’s the TMNT premiere foe, the Shredder. “I was extremely excited to be chosen for this role of Shredder. But knowing how many people had inhabited that iconic role, I had two choices. I can go in and listen to what they did or having a vague memory of what they’ve done. Or take a look at who Shredder is. Take a look at what the skills that he’s used to train as a martial artist. Look at the pursuit of Bushido code and then look at him from an emotional standpoint. Those things drive what I put into the character.”

Complimenting Shredder is the leader of the League of Assassins Ra’s al Ghul, a dream role for actor Cas Anvar. “I have loved him [Ra’s al Ghul] ever since Batman Begins with Liam Neeson. I’ve been collecting comics since I was a kid,” revealed Anvar. “The idea of a character that is centuries old that has all this experience and knowledge from the masses of humanity like a vampire. He’s been living year after year watching empires rise and fall. That’s an incredible character to be able to portray. Someone who is so methodical and so focused on one mission and he’s not necessarily wrong. Batman and him are not necessarily going for different things. Ra’s is willing to do whatever it takes.”

As noted in the animated feature’s PR, Troy Baker is the first actor to take on Batman and the Joker in one project. You can thank publicist supreme Gary Miereanu for coming up with such a genius notion. According to Baker, the decision to have him play Batman and Joker simultaneously came about, “Because they know I do this when cameras aren’t rolling and no mics are in play. I will just go back and forth between these two people. This is what we do as actors. We’re crazy people. We’re crazy people walking around with these crazy characters in their head and we’re just waiting for someone to give us an opportunity to just get them out to give us the proper catharsis.” Baker did concede that the dual roles did take quite a lot out of him after each session. “I’ve watched Mark [Hamill] do Joker before and it’s just effortless. It’s not fair. He’s too good at it. Whenever I do Joker, I left that session thinking I couldn’t talk for awhile or be the same again.”


IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #21 variant cover by Andy Kuhn

Those who have seen the film already know that a post-credits scene teases the possibility of a sequel. Though there is no official word whether a sequel is in the works, Halpern-Graser and Jones would certainly love another crossover project only this time bringing Batman into the world of the Ninja Turtles with a more sci-fi bent incorporating villains like Krang as well as Bebop and Rocksteady. That should give fans incentive to pick up a copy when Batman vs. TMNT is available on Digital and Blu-ray!

This spring, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Entertainment are teaming up with DC Entertainment and Nickelodeon for Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, an all-new animated movie that unites everyone’s favorite turtles with the Caped Crusader for the first time outside of the comics page. Based on the Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics miniseries by James Tynion IV and Freddie Williams II, the film will see the turtles meeting Batman and feature our heroes teaming up to face Batman’s deadly rogues gallery.

The film’s voice cast features Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Origins) as both Batman and the Joker (making him the first actor ever to take on both roles in one project), Darren Criss (the Emmy-winning star of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story) as Raphael, Kyle Mooney (Saturday Night Live) as Michelangelo, Baron Vaughn (Grace and Frankie) as Donatello, Eric Bauza (The Woody Woodpecker Show) as Leonardo, Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) as Batgirl, Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as the Penguin, John DiMaggio (Adventure Time) as Mr. Freeze, Tara Strong (The Powerpuff Girls) as both Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911!) as Bane, and Cas Anvar (The Expanse) as Ra’s al Ghul.

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting May 14, 2019, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on June 4, 2019.

###



More Nick: Paramount Moves Ahead with Third 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Theatrical Movie!

Originally published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 9:17pm GMT.

Additional sources: The Beat, Dark Horizons, Bubbleblabber, SYFY WIRE, The Beat, Collider.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Nickelodeon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles News and Highlights!

No comments: