DARK KNIGHT RETURNS EXCLUSIVE: Andrea Romano Interview
The challenge of finding the most suitable voice for a Batman animated project usually falls to casting/voice director Andrea Romano, but she's risen to the occasion again with Peter Weller for The Dark Knight Returns, which she discusses in this exclusive interview.
Interview conducted by and copyright Edward Gross
“It was an awesome responsibility, as always, to cast Batman again," Romano admits. "That’s always daunting. After all these years you think, ‘Have I not really gone to every actor who’s an appropriate Batman at this point?’ Because of the nature of THIS Batman, he is so much older, he is so bitter, so shut down, he has so many years in his voice, it was the perfect fit to have Peter Weller play it. Peter’s got that great texture, he’s a wonderful actor, period. Half my work is done by hiring a very good actor. There’s experience in that voice, and that played very well into the experience that this Bruce Wayne and Batman have had. As I look at it now, I can’t even think of who else we would have thought of as Batman. He’s spot on.
“He is bereft," she adds regarding the Batman character in The Dark Knight Returns. "When we first meet him in this piece, he is SHUT DOWN. He is living at the bottom of a liquor bottle and he certainly is not being Batman anymore. Gotham is not a place you’d want to move to, even at its best. For this story, it has really gone to pot. It is a city that has been taken over by mutants, everyone is afraid of their own shadow and Batman isn’t functioning anymore. So there’s really nobody but the Gotham police force caring for the citizens. So you’ve got this city and this man who are not interested in a beautiful world. Then suddenly this youth comes in to it, this young Carrie. This girl who wants to be Robin, who suddenly brings hope back to Bruce Wayne. Suddenly things turn around and he begins functioning again as Batman – albeit not with the same strength he had before, but suddenly there’s hope again for this city. I think the juxtaposition of the age of Batman and Peter Weller and the youth of Robin and Arial Winter make for a really nice combination of hope, working with depression and actually turning depression around into action. Which is wonderful.”
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