JLA ADVENTURES EXCLUSIVE Interview with Director Giancarlo Volpe
Not since the "where the hell did that come from?" release of Beyoncé's recent self-titled album has there been a media sneak attack like Warner Bros. Target exclusive DVD JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. Called a "stealth release," it arrives in Target on January 21st. It's plot is described as follows: "Get ready for a battle of the ages when the Justice League faces off against its archenemies, the Legion of Doom, in an all-new movie from DC Comics. A mysterious being known as the Time Trapper arises, and a sinister plan led by Lex Luthor sends the Legion of Doom back in time to eliminate Superman before he becomes a hero and inspires others to do the same. For [members of the Justice League], along with teen super heroes Karate Kid and Dawnstar, the stakes have never been higher, the rescue mission never deadlier. So join the fight for the future as the Justice League confronts its ultimate challenge… the threat of having never existed!"
The Justice League is a growing presence in a variety of mediums these days, and this Tuesday that will include Target with the DVD release of JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. What follows is an excerpt from an exclusive interview with director Giancarlo Volpe.
Voices From Krypton sat down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with the film's director, Giancarlo Volpe, who fans will know from his producing duties on the unfortunately short-lived Green Lantern: The Animated Series.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: The phrase surrounding this film has been "stealth release." What's your feeling about that?
GIANCARLO VOLPE: Well, it worked well for Beyonce, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works for us.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: How did this project come about?
GIANCARLO VOLPE: Well, my boss Sam Register approached me about doing this straight to video. It was kind of a partnership with Target and they had a toyline, which a lot of these things start with, that they wanted to promote. They just wanted to do a movie that accompanied the toyline about their characters. The main thing about it was tone. If you look at something like Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox or the upcoming WAR, or, frankly, a lot of the stuff we do at WB, they're grittier films. There are curse words and violence, so Sam said, "We need something that's a little more kid friendly." My initial reaction was reluctance, because I was worried he was asking me to do a pre-school version of the Justice League. We talked about it and he said, "That thing you do on Green Lantern, we just want that but with the Justice League." When I finally understood it in those terms - "I can do my storytelling sensibilities with Superman and Batman and all of them" - I was, like, "Okay, let's do it."
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: How much time did you have for this film?
GIANCARLO VOLPE: In late 2012 we started to write it and we started to animate in early 2013. It was about a year ago that I was starting to work about it, but I haven't been able to talk about it until now.
VOICES FROM KRYPTON: What was the genesis of this particular storyline?
GIANCARLO VOLPE: Mike Ryan, the writer, and I actually had begun to develop a Justice League project, but it didn't work out. When this came around, it was confusing because I wanted to tell the story that we originally wanted to tell, but we knew that that story would require 13 episodes and the order for this was, I think, originally 44 minutes. As a result we were just trying to come up with something simple that we could fit in the 44-minute timeframe. The other impetus for this was also essentially modernizing the Super Friends TV show. Mike, who was a huge fan of the '70s Super Friends, said that one of his favorite episodes had Lex Luthor sending the Legion of Doom to the past to futz with the origins of Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. He was, like, "I'd love to retell that story."
I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. There was an initial concept piece that was drawn for this project before I was even a part of it. Two of the characters were Karate Kid and Dawnstar. If you know those characters, they're actually not from our era. They're Legion of Superheroes characters, which are 1,000 years in the future. So instantly we thought, "We need some sort of reason they'd come to our timeline." I didn't want that to be some sort of convenient rip in the sky and they fall out of it and suddenly we go on some other adventure. I wanted the whole thing to be about time travel. So when Mike heard that, he told me about that Super Friends episode, so we borrowed from that a lot. Originally we were also going to have Lex futz with multiple characters, but in the interest in keeping within the allotted time, we had to focus just on Superman. In our continuity, Superman was the first hero ever. If he never formed, there would be no Batman and there would be no Wonder Woman and so on. Lex kind of knows this and if he can get rid of Superman, there would never be a Justice League.
To read the full interview, please click HERE.
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