NYCC 2015: Batman Bad Blood Panel

by Roy Ranous
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A few months back, a video was released online teasing Warner Animation’s next project in the DC Animated Universe, Batman: Bad Blood. With New York Comic Con in full swing, what better time to unveil an exclusive first look at this much-anticipated, well-kept secret?

We got the coverage right here on DCN.

First and foremost, no official release date has been given. However, we can expect it early 2016.

At the panel that just ended at New York Comic Con for Batman: Bad Blood, producer James Tucker revealed his motivation for doing this animated feature.

“I’d like Batwing and Batwoman to be in a movie, and I’d like Nightwing to dress like Batman.”

With Batman missing, Dick Grayson wasn’t expecting to be the one to take up the mantle of the Bat, so he had to improvise with one of Batman’s earlier suits. Inspired by the likes of Neal Adams, Jim Aparo and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, animator Phil Bourassa was excited to bring back an old favorite: the blue and gray of the Silver Age.

Two characters that have never been in animation before (unless you count that one-off of The New Adventures of BatmanMystery of the Batwoman) are making their animation debut in Bad Blood: Luke Fox’s Batwing (voiced by newcomer Gaius Charles), and Kate Kane’s Batwoman (voiced by Yvonne Strahovski).

Batwing Bad_Blood_Still_02-812x522

James Tucker: “We’ve seen Robins, Batgirls…we decided Batwoman and Batwing are current, they each have interesting stories, and they’re cool.”

Phil Bourassa: “For this particular movie, we’re introducing two characters that haven’t seen in animation before. We always look at the source material – the comics come first. We determine how much from the comics can we use, what do we need to adapt. With Batwoman, she has such a striking look…simple, elegant in its design. We just take what’s there and adapt it for our medium. She was really easy and simple to adapt. Batwing was a little more involved. The suit comes from his dad [Lucius Fox]…he’s involved in creating Batman’s tech. It has to fit in with what we’ve already established. When we looked at the source material, it didn’t feel like there was one look. We felt like we had…artistic license to do our own thing.”

Jay Oliva: “We wanted this to be version 1.0 of what would eventually be the Batman Beyond suit. You’ll see some design cues and homages.”


Left to Right talking about Batman: Bad Blood: Producer James Tucker, Animation Lead Phil Bourassa, Director Jay Oliva

Jason O’Mara, in his sixth bout as the Dark Knight, claims he felt like maybe he should have had more lines in the film since it’s about Batman, but also teases that what we do see of Batman will be exciting.

“I was certainly expecting Batman to be in the film a little more because of the name of the film, but quite a few pages go by in the script before you see or hear from Batman. But when you do, he’s under major duress. There’s pretty cool stuff that happens when we…go into what makes Bruce Wayne tic.”


O’Mara feels he finally found his perfect place with voicing Batman over six animated features.

“My approach hasn’t changed. I’m always looking for ways to find nuances and subtleties. Trying to find differences between Batman and Bruce Wayne is challenging. I think now I’m able to own it more and find whatever it is that is unique for me to bring to the character, and less about the influence of other Batman actors on me.”

Gaius Charles, in his first-ever voiceover role, is extremely excited about being cast as Luke Fox/ Batwing.

“I grew up watching Batman with Adam West, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and just being inspired by them. Having the opportunity to bring a character that’s never been shown in animation before is wonderful. I hope that people will love Batwing the same way they loved Harley Quinn when she was introduced in animation.”


One notable absence from the panel was that of actress and Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski. James Tucker couldn’t help singing her praises.

“She can do anything, really. She was awesome. Sometimes you have an idea for what a character should sound like. With Batwoman, there wasn’t any template for who or what she’d sound like. Yvonne came in and just made it her own. It was like, ‘Wow, she’s really Batwoman.’ She did it all on her own.”

Jay Oliva added,

“Batwoman is a very complicated character, not just a Batman with guns. A lot of things went into her that I wanted to make sure she felt like a real character.”

When opening questions to the floor, people began chanting for a third season of Young Justice. Noticeably, James Tucker did not respond. Another person asked about The Killing Joke. Tucker said that if he wanted to go for an R rating, DC would give him the go-ahead. However, he appeared to be on the fence about doing it, as he shifted in his seat, saying he wasn’t sure he wants to do an R-rated animated feature.

While Young Justice still hangs in the air, Batman: Bad Blood is already finished with post-production and is in the mass production stage. Set for an early 2016 release, Batman: Bad Blood stars Jason O’Mara as Batman, Gaius Charles as Batwing, Yvonne Strahovski as Batwoman, Stuart Allan as Damian Wayne/ Robin, Sean Maher as Nightwing, featuring Ernie Hudson as Lucius Fox.


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