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William Shatner talks about the nature of evil for his role in Batman vs. Two-Face

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Bringing together two of pop culture’s all-time heroes – TV’s original Batman and Captain Kirk, Adam West and William Shatner, comes an all-new DC Universe animated movie.

As the sequel to the 2016 hit animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the all-new Batman vs. Two-Face finds Batman and Robin back in classic 1960s action, protecting Gotham City from some of the most nefarious villains in comics history. But when the mutilated master of multiplicity, Two-Face, begins staging a daring crime wave across Gotham, the Caped Crusaders must work double-time to discover his mysterious secret identity before they can halt his evil-doing – all the while combating the likes of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Bookworm, Hugo Strange and King Tut!

Check out the new trailer below.

Burt Ward, William Shatner, Michael Jelenic, James Tucker and Rick Morales

I spoke with William Shatner, Burt Ward, director Rick Morales, producer and writer James Tucker and writer Michael Jelenic at the New York Comic Con. The film is a little more serious and noirish than the previous film, although Morales did say, “It’s just a little darker and a little more mysterious. It’s still Adam West Batman, it’s still Burt Ward as Robin.”

Check out our New York Comic Con coverage

They all spoke of the great loss they felt with the passing of Adam West and were unsure whether they would continue with the films. However, I did suggest that Burt Ward’s Robin could possibly become Nightwing in later films. It was something they had not thought of but did like the idea.

Shatner talked about playing both a hero and a villain in the film and the nature of evil.

“Well, it’s a cartoon, but if you take the question seriously, there are many voices in our psyche, my mind keeps going back to the guy in Las Vegas.

A mild-mannered guy, apparently. Never got a parking ticket. And what was he thinking, what was he doing, what was going on in his head as he was spraying those bullets around? This mild-mannered guy — what are the voices in his head?

Obviously, some totally sick — I’m trying to find a word that would apply to that kind of illness, where it’s so devoid of humanity…that it’s incomprehensible. So what’s going on in his head…how do you do that, what are these voices saying? And if you take the question seriously, that’s what’s going on in this ill person, the struggle between good and evil.

The villain is the same guy as the hero…so playing a villain should be the same as playing the hero.

Michael Jelenic spoke about how it had been planned to have Shatner voice the role from the beginning.

I think we knew Shatner was going to be playing the part from the beginning. we knew that he was probably going to end up shaping that character more than we did. The challenge with Batman was we’ve seen so many different version so villains. We do some different things with this one…things that haven’t been done with Two-Face before.

I don’t think we would’ve done it if he didn’t want to do it. I think one of the things that excited us…’who would’ve been cast if the ’66 series kept going? He just brings such a great performance to the role. He did not let us down.

I think this particular one is a little challenging because Return of the Caped Crusaders is closer to what you expect and this movie has much more of a noir feel, so you’re putting camp with noir. The stakes seem a little more real in this one. Everything is a little more serious, and you get these campy jokes. It’s a fun mix.

James Tucker mentioned how they had been thinking of having Poison Ivy in the film.

I only wanted to do characters who existed in 1966. I wouldn’t be interested in doing Bane or, well, I was going to say Harley Quinn, but there is a little nod to her in the movie. But, there were plans, in one of the drafts of this script, we had Poison Ivy involved, and it was actually going to be more of a Two-Face/Poison Ivy team up. Then we realised, we had William Shatner. You don’t really need another character. The story was getting more complicated, and it just was getting bogged down, so we put her aside and I think it was a stronger story because of it. We went through one draft with her in it.

We hadn’t really reached out to people. We were considering Barbara Eden, maybe, or Ann Margaret. We wanted people who would’ve been cast in the 60s. Barbara Eden probably more so than Ann Margaret because Ann Margaret was a huge movie star. Raquel Welch, maybe? You know what I mean. That was where we were going. But again, we hadn’t gotten that far because we were only in the script stage and it didn’t go beyond that. But it would’ve been cool.

He also spoke about the tone of the film.

We took our cues from the first season of the series, which was definitely straighter, a lot more darker scenes, more night-time scenes. In a way, it’s weird because Return of the Caped Crusaders was definitely more second season and third season in tone. With this one, we want to go back to the more grounded first season, where the camp was there, but it walked a tighter line. And so there was definitely a more noir element to this because Two-Face, that character, by necessity, it has to be a little noir-ish. There’s still the humour, the wink, the tongue-in-cheek quality that the series had even in the first season, so it’s not all that different than the series.

Jelenic also talked about whether they would continue with the films and the possibility of doing something with Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman or other versions of the characters.

I don’t know how you get someone else to step into Adam West’s shoes. This is sort of like the Swan Song for the series…it’s a great Swan Song for Adam West too, as opposed to playing Batman’s dad or a character influenced by Batman.

We were talking about doing something on this movie where he’s teaming up with Lynda Carter at the very end and we see Adam West in ’77 and he’s aged up a little, and the mansion’s all decorated in the ’77 style…that could be a possibility, but I don’t think it would be a Batman thing.

I had a big pitch, and they took it seriously for a second, to do Tim Burton’s Superman…to do that animated.

Available on Digital Download now and DVD and Blu-ray October 30 – pre-order your copy now.

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