Friedle has had a long, successful career in the voice-acting industry.
Friedle was awesome as Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond.
Nrama: So from your perspective as both a fan and the lead voice actor, why do you think now is the right time to revisit these characters and concepts?
Friedle: I don't know why now is the right time, it just seems to be. I think it's been 20, 25 years, the characters are still vibrant, and still iconic, and I think enough time has passed now to where some of the original fans might have accepted a new version a little bit easier than had they done it five years after the show had ended.
I think also the state-of-the-art animation that we have nowadays really lends itself to these characters and to this story. I think people are also maybe a little more able to accept a darker story nowadays than they would have been in the '80s; something that's a little more real. I think when Batman: The Animated Series came out, it kind of changed everything when it came to animation and storytelling.
Hopefully, so far, it's been working. We seem to have gotten some great reviews, and people seem to like the show, so we're all very excited.
Nrama: Yeah, and unlike a lot of the other '80s properties, there really hasn't been any updated Thundercats material until this series.
Friedle: Right. It ended, and that was it. I know that there have been several attempts over the last, say, 10 years, to make the show. Man, am I glad that this is the first one to come out, because I think the scripts are just phenomenal, and if you're a fan of Thundercats, wait until you see what happens next.
Nrama: You're in the lead role here, and the lead role comic book fans know you best from is, of course, Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond. How does your approach to Lion-O compare to Terry?
Friedle: I think Terry had a much darker side to him, whereas Lion-O, especially in the first 35 minutes of the pilot, was really kind of the happy go-lucky kid. If memory serves, the first time we ever meet Terry, he's in a fist fight in gym class, whereas Lion-O is more of the type of guy who wants to make everything better, and is a prince, but wide-eyed, and still believing in fantasy, and still believing that there's this mythical tech out there.
I think Lion-O is far more naïve at the start about what real life on Thundera is about than Terry was about Gotham. With some of the stuff that is going to happen to Lion-O, I wouldn't doubt that there may be a darker turn in his personality in the future.
Nrama: And Thundercats is also reuniting you with legendary voice director Andrea Romano, who you worked with on Batman Beyond.
Friedle: I've worked with Andrea for probably the last 15 years, and this is probably the 10th or 11th project we've worked together on. She's incredible. Knows actors, knows animation, knows what is expected, and man, she can really pull it out of us.