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What's the hardest casting choice you've had to make in your showrunner career?
Hardest casting choice?
Not sure what that means in context. Like we had two people and couldn't decide which one to pick? I can't even think of an example of that.
We've had some roles that were hard to cast. Goliath and Elisa come to mind, but once we found Keith and Salli, respectively, the decision was easy.
There have been roles where my first choice was over-ridden by TPTB, but it's always worked out pretty darn well, anyway.
I am a lifelong fan of all of your work! Especially gargoyles and young justice. I wanted to ask 3 questions that I didnât see waiting to be answered already.
1 did you intentionally include props from gargoyles in young justice season four at the Tower of fate? A.k.a. the Phoenix gate, The eye of Oden, grimorum arcanorum.
2 are there more gargoyles Easter eggs throughout YJ?
3 I have recognized the voices of many of the actors on young Justice, as actors who also voiced characters on gargoyles. Do you like to work a lot with the same people?
I think itâs pretty fantastic, but sometimes when I hear the voices I think of their character from gargoyles instead of who they are in young justice.
1. If I said it was an accident or coincidence would you believe me?
2. Here and there.
3. I do. Very much.
Greg, are you aware that you can have a Muslim character without making their entire identity about being Muslim? You realize weâre regular people, right? Most of us arenât religious zealots. We donât think about being Muslim 24/7. Itâs just part of our identity. You donât really need to mention it, just like you have never mentioned the religion of any of the main white characters. Or is it more that you feel the need to remind the audience that youâre so inclusive for including Muslims? Whatever it is, you need to stop. This is clearly a blind spot of yours. And donât reply that some org youâre working with says youâre fine - they donât speak for all of us and you canât hide behind that to dismiss criticism.
I'm not hiding behind anyone. But I also feel just fine saying that an organization like MPAC likes what we're doing and encouraged same. As did the Muslim writer who wrote the episode and the Muslim actor who performed the role. My point is - and always has been - simply this: JUST BECAUSE YOU PERSONALLY THINK SOMETHING DOESN'T WORK, DOESN'T MEAN THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AGREES WITH YOU. PERIOD. You don't get to decide for all Muslims what does or doesn't play. I had plenty of Muslim fans thrilled over our depiction of Khalid. Doesn't mean you have to be, but stop trying to tell me that you personally represent an entire religion, when I have a list of people who are also of that faith disagreeing with you.
And, yes, of course, Muslims are regular people. Just like Khalid, for example, who didn't talk about his Muslim identity at all in five out of the six episodes he appeared in this season. So he did talk about it in one episode. One episode that happened to specifically be about a crisis in faith. That doesn't make him a zealot, as you so kindly labeled him. His faith is part of his identity, just as Zatara's Catholic faith is part of his - putting the lie to the notion that we've never addressed the faith of any "white" characters. (Or do you think Zatara is a zealot, as well? Or does he not count because he's not YOUNG?)
In any case, Khalid's faith matters to him. And we're just fine depicting that. For some characters, their faith (whatever it may be) is a big part of their lives. For others, it isn't. That's the way the world works. Why wouldn't our show reflect the world?
Take the excellent ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary, for example, where the character played by Sheryl Lee Ralph (our Amanda Waller) is constantly expressing her faith and her belief in God, even though none of the other characters do. (At least not that I've seen so far.) This is life.
The funny thing is, I had other Muslim viewers tell me I couldn't hide behind MPAC to justify Khalid being a practicing sorcerer. To which my answer was much the same.
And on the other hand, I had some fan write me asking why I had gone into depth on the faith of a Muslim and a Christian and hadn't done the same for a Jew. If I did a Jew next season, I'd have someone else ask me why I hadn't done X religion or Y.
So, yes, for these reasons, I am dismissing your criticism. Not because I'm "hiding" or "blind" but because it is LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to please everyone. So whom should I listen to? One "Anonymous" fan? Or an organization of human beings who are standing up to see that their people are treated well in Hollywood media. What makes you an expert over them? Why would I do what you want? So that I can "hide" behind you instead?
Basically, Brandon and I go with our gut while following the advise of people who work hard to see representation flourish in this industry, which in and of itself we see as important and necessary and as better storytelling. This isn't new territory for me either. I've been doing this kind of thing since Gargoyles.
There's no blind spot. I'm doing this on purpose. And I like it.
Why did you stop casting child actors for the roles of child characters in Young Justice?
We haven't stopped. Amistad, for example, was played by a child actor. We're just admittedly inconsistent about it, for a variety of factors. Usually, the reason is budgetary. If a child character only has a couple lines, and we think we have someone from the existing cast - in that specific episode - who can cover those lines, we may elect to save some money, so that we can spend it later on another actor. And then once we've cast someone, we rarely recast, unless (a) we have to because the original actor is unavailable or (b) the character has aged so much that the original actor is no longer appropriate.
Dear Mr Weisman i have some Young justice questions for you 1.How old is Jason Blood and how long have he and the Phantom Stranger known each other? 2. I noticed some vary familiar looking artifacts in Mr blood's home that he told Mary not to touch. Have he or Etrigan ever traveled to any other universes outside of Earth 16 and the Dc multiverse including a universe where '' One thousand years ago superstition and the sword ruled'' to claim the artifacts ? 3. How long have Zatanna and Etrigan known each other ? 4. Did you consider hiring Dee Bradley Baker for the role of etrigan before hiring David Shaughnessy for the role instead ? P s thank you for giving my alien theory about the driver and kids on that school bus that Zatanna and her students avoided in the previous episode some footing
1. Jason Blood was born @500 A.D.
1a. Long time.
2. I doubt it. But you never know.
3. A while.
4. Not that I recall. Love Dee. But I thought David - whom I worked with on Star Wars Rebels - would give us an amazing version of both Blood and Etrigan.
How did L-Ron have access to the Krolotean database?
Why didn't Despero speak in "Corned?"
By the way, Keith David, the voice of Mongul here, previously voiced Despero in Justice League.
1. I dunno. Does it matter?
2. It was beneath him to communicate directly with inferiors.
3. Keith's a talented guy!
Did you hold auditions during the pandemic? If so, how did that work?
We didn't hold in person auditions. We did have performers submit tapes of them performing the part for certain roles, e.g. Amistad Ervin. It's not as good a system - in theory - as you can't see how an actor takes direction. But fortunately, it all worked out for us remarkably well. Of course, we didn't hold a ton of auditions for roles this season. We mostly just cast new roles without auditioning. And some that we did audition for were done pre-pandemic. But again, I can't complain with the end results.
Forgot to ask: how did you cast Logan Browning?
I'm pretty sure Jamie suggested her for the role. Brandon and I listened to her voice in other things, and we agreed. I don't think we held auditions for Onyx. But it was pre-pandemic, and my memory is fairly fuzzy of those days.
This season has some great new voice actors!
Can you tell us how you cast Carl Lumbly, Usman Ally, Erika Ishii, D.B. Woodside?
1. Not that anyone was arguing with me over the choice, but I really wanted to cast Carl as M'gann's father. In part, as a tribute to his work on Justice League as J'onn J'onzz. But also cuz he's truly great, and I've been a fan of his going back all the way to Cagney & Lacey.
2. We held some auditions for someone who could play both Khalid AND Muhammed Nassour. And Khalid won the roles by being great at both.
3. We held auditions for someone who could play both Mary Bromfield and Child. Brandon and I had seen Erika perform an amazing stand-up routine about playing the violin and being frustrated by the ending of Game of Thrones, so she was one of the people we suggested as a possibility. And she killed it as both characters.
4. Brandon wanted to make Phantom Stranger Black, so he and Jamie Thomason and I began brainstorming who might be a good choice to play the role. I believe Jamie may have suggested D.B., and I was immediately enthusiastic based on his work in Lucifer and Buffy and 24 and other stuff that I've loved him in forever.
Does Zatanna watch Lacey Chabert Hallmark movies?
Is Henchy an original character, based on someone from the comics, or both?
Have you ever thought of doing a motion comic where the actors read the whole comic?
1. He's more-or-less original. He's based on a model created for the Green Arrow Showcase short and a specific voice that I love, which actor Steve Blum has used for me in multiple series: Raythor (W.I.T.C.H.), Blackie Gaxton (The Spectacular Spider-Man), Zeb (Star Wars Rebels).
2. Yes. I'd love to do that. But there's no budget for it, generally. The YJ Wiki did a few using volunteer labor and volunteer voice actors. Here's one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42QKFkSy4DU
Oh, and what the heck, here's another: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N3Z2b-UlTE
Minor question: is there a particular reason you had Atlanteans speaking more formally (i.e. little to no use of contractions) after "Infiltrator"?
We were really following the lead of Khary Payton, who created the voice of Aqualad.
Greg, first I wanted to thank you for continuing to explore Jade's character, love her bigger presence in Phantoms. Question: hpw fun is writing Artemis and Jade relationship?
Very. Very, very.
They both have such distinct and complex personalities, scenes between them all but write themselves.
Plus, watching Kelly and Stephanie perform against each other - and we recorded their arc pre-pandemic when we were still recording the cast in groups - is always a treat. They really make great sisters!
My Question is more logistical. I am curious of the process of V.A.s specifically of Star Trek association.
I have been waiting on some actors to appear, but assume some are too expensive. For example I believe that you reached out to Patrick Stewart for a past project and that aforementioned issue left him unaffordable for your desire. I look at others who I haven't expected to see appearing animation projects i.e. K. Mulgrew reprising Captain Janeway.
As a Teekkie myself, I have been hoping more actors show up. One I've been hoping is Erick Avari who has such a unique voice. I also assume the legendary George Takei is practically off limits. Your thoughts, and are you open to the NEW series of Trek actors?
Taking your last question first, absolutely.
I haven't priced anyone recently. I try not to think about that. Generally speaking, availability is a way bigger issue than cost, especially since the pandemic.
I worked with Kate Mulgrew, of course, on Gargoyles. Would love to work with her again with the right part. There are actually a ton of actors I've worked with before that I'd be thrilled to use again. But timing and role don't always sync up.
I voice directed George Takei on Team Atlantis. But I'm pretty sure that was on one of the episodes that never was completed or saw the light of day. I'm sure I have a cassette tape with his work on it in my storage room somewhere.
Haven't worked with Patrick Stewart, but it would be an honor. And I love Erick Avari. Saw him play King Lear once on stage. He was fantastic. But you have to be thinking of someone at the right time for the right role. It's more of a crapshoot than you'd probably guess.
How were auditioned done for season four? Was any done during the lock down?
Who suggested Logan Browning for Onyx? She's so good!
1. I'm trying to remember if we did auditions for any character for season four... I'm not sure we did. Oh, wait. Yes. But that character hasn't appeared in the first thirteen yet.
2. Yes. The one character I'm thinking of we auditioned by sending copy out to agents, etc., and getting readings back.
3. I'm fairly certain that was Jamie Thomason. And I agree, Logan was amazing in the role!
So how exactly did you wind up doing additional voices for the Square Enix game "The Last Remnant"?
I barely remember. But New Generation Pictures' Jonathan Klein, a former student of mine, has hired me on occasion, ever since I directed 3x3 Eyes for him.
How old are Don and Dawn Allen?
Why did Chad Lowe replace his brother as the voice of Captain Marvel?
Why did the Ocean-Master attack Aquaman in the flashback in Downtime and what happened to him after he was defeated?
When did Guy Gardner join the Justice League?
1. They were born in September of Team Year Six.
2. Rob was no longer available. We offered the part to Chad. He got his brother's blessing and took over.
3. They were enemies.
3a. He got away.
4. Team Year Two.
1. Did Wendy Harris and Marvin White ever clue into the fact that the public hero Superboy was their old classmate?
2. As someone who absolutely adored Kelly Stables' work in W.I.T.C.H., I'm very happy that you roped her in to voice Cissie. Thanks.
3. I noticed that you gave Orphan a Z-designation, but not a B-designation. Was she even a formal member of the team when Season 3 started?
1. No spoilers.
2. I was very happy, too! Kelly is always great!
1. What was the casting process behind Jesse McCartney as Dick Grayson, and did it have anything to do with his roles as Roxas and Ventus in Kingdom Hearts?
2. What was the casting process behind Alyson Stoner as Barbara Gordon?
1. He auditioned. We cast him.
2. I honestly don't remember. I know we didn't hold auditions for the part. I'm trying to recall if perhaps she auditioned for Miss Martian, and whether we perhaps liked her and kept her in mind. I had also worked with Alyson previously (when she was barely a teenager) on W.I.T.C.H., in which she played Lilian Hale. So maybe I suggested her. Or maybe Jamie Thomason did. I just can't recall.
Dear Mr Weisman i have some Young justice related questions for you 1. Does Mrs M'orzz watch hallmark movies on a frequent basis as she was more familiar with the purpose a wedding ring then Mr M'orzz was? 2 Are any of Miss Martian sibling's (Em'ree and M'comm aside) members of the yellow Martian order? 3. what does Black canary do for a living?
1. Only ones starring Danica McKellar or Lacey Chabert.
2. No spoilers.
3. She's a therapist, and she also owns a flower shop.
Why did Alan Tudyk only voiced on episode of season 3? Did he become unavailable because heâs becoming more high profile?
Were Troy Baker and Nolan North together in the studio for season 4? They broke off their partnership on YouTube. Are they still friendly?
1. Green Arrow only appeared with a speaking role in one episode in Season Three.
2. They were definitely in the studio together pre-pandemic. They seemed friendly to me.
This is my first time writing in, so I just wanted to say thanks for having this website up! I can't imagine the amount of time it takes to answer everything. It's truly appreciated. I picked up YJ not long after the third season wrapped up, and I'm delighted I got into it when I did.
I especially have to thank you (and the rest of the YJ crew, of course) for Artemis. I was in a bit of a rough patch when I watched it first, and I saw a lot of myself in her. Watching her overcome her fears, especially in the first season, was a reassuring inspiration. There's been more than a few times when I found myself thinking of her as I braved through things. She means a lot to me, and I'm thrilled to see her still working things out now, even though she's been through so much. (I was beyond excited when we found out she's leading the Team now! I can't wait to see that!)
Anyway, I've had these lying around for a bit, so here we go.
1) You recently mentioned some of the organizations youâve reached out to for help with YJâs characters of color, cultures youâre unfamiliar with, and the LGBTQ+ community. Itâs wonderful to hear that youâre working with them! Which other groups have you worked with (both today and during the first and second seasons) and how does that relationship work?
2) What does a day in the life look like in the YJ acting booth? (I have to imagine itâs pretty fun with that particular group of actors and directors!) Any idea when youâll be able to record in person again?
3) From what I understand about acting (both voice and âregularâ), itâs incredibly important for actors to be able to play off of each other. How does that work with recording during the pandemic? Do actors record lines individually and then play off those recordings, or are Zoom meetings used to imitate the booth as much as possible?
4) One last question about voice acting: how much influence do your actors have over the characters' personalities? Are their ideas about the characters integrated into the writing?
5) Iâve always loved the glimpses weâve seen of YJâs interpretation of Atlantis. Many of the versions Iâve seen are basically just a very large underwater city with little oceanic inspiration. YJâs version seems to have been created with a lot of thought toward how the structure of the seafloor and plant life interact with it, as well as the intense influence of magic. The colors also often feel particularly vibrant and ocean-like. Given that youâre not one of the artists, Iâd guess you may not know much about how it was designed, but is there any insight you could give to choices made regarding Atlantisâs design and culture?
I've just seen the first episode of Phantoms, and it's looking spectacular so far. Good luck with finishing up post-production, and thank you again for your hard work!
1. I'm going to hold off answering which other organizations we've worked with for now, as I think revealing the organizations would by default reveal content. I'd be happy to answer this after the season's over. But I've already stated that we've been working with GLAAD and OUT and MPAC (Hollywood Division). Plus, we've run every single outline and script by Dr. Janina Scarlet (superhero-therapy.com and @shadowQuill on Twitter). She's helped us with psychological and therapeutic details, while also generally acting as a sensitivity reader for our work. And there's also Warner Bros' own DEI department, who've been very helpful. There are more organizations, but the rest will have to wait for now. As for process, it can differ slightly. But generally, we discuss the stuff we were thinking about doing with them and get their feedback. Then we show them our outlines. Then our scripts. Sometimes even animatics or animation. At each step, we listen, take their notes and make sure everyone feels good about what we're doing before we take the next step in the process. We don't do anything that doesn't work for our story and characters. But we admit to ignorance on many fronts and many levels, and we like educating ourselves and allowing that education to be reflected in the work.
2. Well, it is fun! (Or, you know, most of the time. Nothing's perfect.) But pre-pandemic, we'd bring a majority of any episode's cast in together. (Although our casts are SO big, that sometimes we might split that cast into two shifts, trying to get folks who have scenes together to record together.) Jamie usually has them do a first run through without much direction. Then he might dive in and nuance an exchange or a line. Or even a certain phrase. We like to have options, but we want to make sure we get at least one version that hits the nail on the head. And we also make sure that we have at least two versions of every line. Post-pandemic, everyone was recording alone. Which is still great but not quite as much fun. There's a lot of playing back what one actor did for the other actor. (Whomever went first, kinda gets to set the tone for any scene, in these cases.) As for when we'll get back to recording in person, I don't know. Not on Season Four. That's all fully recorded.
3. See above.
4. After an episode or two, we definitely begin to incorporate their performances into their characters. With regulars or our long time recurring actors, we often sit down and talk to the actors about their characters, and I'm not at all adverse to listening to their takes on their own characters and importing those ideas into future episodes.
5. We wanted to fully bring their culture and milleu to life. To see Posiedonis - which is all you've seen of Atlantis so far - as its inhabitants see it.
Thank you for watching!
I saw some short videos with panels of young justice comis on youtube narrated by voice actors of the show
where can are the complete videos?
They don't exist. These were brief pieces produced by the YJ Wiki (https://youngjustice.fandom.com/wiki/Young_Justice_Wiki) with the voluntary (and unpaid) participation of members of our wonderful cast done to promote our companion (and fully canonical) comics to get more of our fans to read them.
Can you describe the recording process of Young Justice: Phantoms? Was it ENTIRELY done separately? Was it done via video-conferencing? Did each actor get the entire script or just their lines?
The first half - or nearly half - of the season was done the way we always have, with group recordings predominantly, while picking up the occasional actor at a different time, based on availability.
About halfway through the season, we temporarily stopped recording because of the pandemic.
So in order to keep our board artists supplied with vocal tracks and working (from home), we began recording scratch tracks, using myself, Brandon, voice director Jamie Thomason, Talent coordinator Laura Lopez, editor Cris Mertens, and my wife and kids.
Then we began recording actors individually from home. Some of these actors have fantastic home studio set-ups. Others, well... not so much. We weren't video-conferencing with them, but we were audio-conferencing.
Then we switched from BangZoom Studios for our records to Atlas Oceanic Picture & Sound, which had a booth with a door that opened right into their parking lot. That way an actor could drive up and stay in their car until called for. Then they could walk right into the studio without any contact with any other human being. The engineer was in the control room, and the rest of us - including Jamie - were all listening in from our homes. Then when that actor was done, the booth would be sanitized before the next actor entered. Some of our performers still worked from home, but about half came to Atlas. It was always the choice of the actor.
And every actor always gets the entire script.
Earlier this year, two of Disney's television animated series included allusions to "Gargoyles". The first was the series finale of "Duck Tales", which had an already-established character, a headless horse named Manny, become a Goliath-counterpart (including a scene where he grows a head and wings while the theme music of "Gargoyles" plays, then cries - voiced by Keith David - "I live again, again!" - it makes sense in context). The second was in the Season Two finale of "Amphibia", where one of the characters is seen looking through a book on legends, which had a picture of Goliath drawn in the style of Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man".
I was wondering if you'd heard of these two nods to the show, and if so, what you thought of them.
I'd heard about both, though I haven't seen them myself.
It tickles me.
I only met Peter Scolari on the handful of occasions that he came in to play Preston Vogel for us on Gargoyles. But he was wry and funny and thoroughly professional. He had most of his scenes with the late Robert Culp, who was a ton of fun bur a challenge in the booth. But Peter played off Culp wonderfully and kept the sessions flowing. Outside, the booth Peter had great stories that kept us laughing and fascinated.
And, man, was he talented. Gargoyles and Vogel aside, I ADORED Scolari in Bosom Buddies, and treasured his performances in Newhart.
He will be missed.
So... I had a LOT going on this past weekend.
On Saturday, DC FanDome premiered trailers for both CATWOMAN: HUNTED and YOUNG JUSTICE: PHANTOMS, and revealed that the first two episodes of the latter were dropping THAT DAY!
I spent considerable time online - and I don't usually do the online thing over the weekend; in fact, I don't even check my email most weekends - trying to #SpreadTheWord.
But to sum up, here's the news...
CATWOMAN: HUNTED, an anime movie based on my original script, is being released in early 2022. You can see the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPqTLS_g9c. It stars Elizabeth Gilles as Catwoman and Stephanie Beatriz as Batwoman. Voice directed by our old friend Jamie Thomason, it also features Jonathan Banks, Lauren Cohan, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Ron Yuan and my peeps, Steve Blum, Keith David, Zehra Fazal, Jonathan Frakes, Kelly Hu, Andrew Kishino, Eric Lopez and Jacqueline Obradors. Folks have asked me if it's in continuity with Young Justice. My answer: it's YJ-adjacent, much like that old Green Arrow/DC Showcase short I wrote years ago. A version of these events happened on Earth-16. If you're a completist, you're going to want to watch. (Also, I really think it turned out great!)
Meanwhile, the fourth season of YOUNG JUSTICE, i.e. YOUNG JUSTICE PHANTOMS, dropped its first two episodes this past Saturday on HBOMax. Episode 403 will drop this coming Thursday, 10/21. With another episode (through 413) dropping every Thursday through December 30th. The back half of the season (i.e. 414-426) will drop weekly in Spring, 2022. I'm truly excited for the fans to see the season - and evil creator that I am - also glad that the show isn't all dropping at once. I firmly believe television - especially a show like YJ - is a better experience if you have time to savor and sort and absorb and predict for a week in between episodes.
As for the fourth season's production, we have 21 episodes in the can and ready to air. The last five have all been animated and are currently in post-production. And since there was no IATSE strike today, we're still hard at work. (And to be clear, I'm a member of IATSE as part of the Animation Guild, and I was 100% supportive of the union.) We should be done with all 26 episodes by the end of November.
IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: YOUNG JUSTICE has NOT yet been picked up for a fifth season. So if fans want more of Earth-16, the answer is simple: #KeepBingingYJ (all four seasons) over and over. And over and over. And help us #SpreadTheWord. We want to #SaveEarth16.
So use the following hashtags ad nauseam - just as I'm doing in this post:
And watch the show on HBO Max!!! Please...
For international fans, I wish I could give you info on when any or all of the above will be available in your countries. But unfortunately, TPTB do not keep us folks in the trenches well-informed. Asking me over and over won't magically reveal that information to me so that I can reveal it to you.
Finally, by the time all my work was done on Saturday, I was completely exhausted and took a nap. In the nap, I dreamed I wrote a hit song. Seriously. Now, normally, my dreams slip away entirely upon waking. And even when I do remember the gist of a dream, the details are lost within seconds. But I actually woke up with a clear memory of the song - both the lyrics AND the tune. Here are the lyrics:
I'm taking my pants off,
Cuz it's that kind of party!
I'm walking a straight line,
And it's luminous!
That's the whole song. You can see why it was such a big hit in Dreamland. I'm expecting the Dream-Royalties to roll in any minute.
STAY WHELMED, everyone!
This is hard.
It's been a bit of a stressful weekend, as my father went into the hospital with chest pains. A stint that had been replaced last year had failed and was replaced again Saturday morning during an angioplasty. I've been concerned, worried. But the procedure seemed to go well, and he was set to go home today. We seemed to have dodged a bullet.
But there was a second gun.
I slept in today. I woke up to two pieces of news:
1. My dad was good. Solid. My sister picked him up at the hospital and took him straight to breakfast. (My mother was annoyed at not being included - but that's a whole other story.) He's home now. I've talked to him. He sounded cheerful. All good.
2. Ed Asner had passed away.
I spent most of the day doing laundry and other mundane tasks. Life goes on, right? It has to. But it's been difficult getting my head around the whole thing. I've gotten many calls and texts today, offering condolences as if I were part of the Asner family. Folks seem to know how close I felt to Ed. But I don't want to exaggerate. Ed was my friend. I hope he knew I was his, as well. But I haven't talked to him in at least a couple of years. (You can partially blame that on the pandemic, I suppose. There are a lot of people I've lost touch with. If anything, this is a reminder to GET in touch. And I'm going to make an effort to do that.) In any case, there are many, many people who knew Ed better than I did, who were closer to Ed than I was.
Nevertheless, at the risk of turning this post into my own self-aggrandizement, I am going to spend a few paragraphs here on the subject of the Ed Asner that I knew and loved.
I was a fan of Ed's long before I met him. Like many, many people, he first entered my awareness playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Later, I got a kick out of picking him out of reruns, where he usually played the heavy in such series as The Wild Wild West and others.) But as Lou, Ed was simply brilliant. One of the truly classic scenes in all of television is the scene in the TMTMS pilot, where Lou interviews Mary for a job. Do yourself a favor and view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj286uBKCu0
That scene had a major effect on me, even seeing it as a kid.
Now, having just rewatched it, the genius of the writing and the two performances still knocks me out. But there was something else about Lou and Mary. Watching their interactions was a bit like watching my parents. The connection in my mind between Lou and my dad was especially strong.
Ed and my father were two Ashkenazi Jews from the midwest. My dad was from Chicago; Ed, from Kansas City. They were gruff AND loving. They even had mannerisms in common. There was much more, I'm sure, that they DIDN'T have in common. But something connected the two men in my mind. And, meanwhile, my admiration for Asner as a performer knew no bounds. When I saw him in the Lou Grant series, in Rich Man, Poor Man, in Roots, that admiration only increased. When I learned of his activism - and the price he paid for it - that admiration shot through the roof.
Years later, when we had begun pre-production on GARGOYLES, I thought of Ed Asner - or of Lou Grant, at least - as the inspiration for Hudson. In fact, when we held auditions for the role, I wrote at the bottom of the character description that "Hudson hates spunk." This was, of course, a variation on Lou's classic line from the above job interview scene. Now, to be clear, I never imagined we'd get Ed to play the role. I figured he was way too big a star for us to land. But low and behold, a few days later, Ed came in to audition for the part. Later, he told me that when he read the character description, he was initially thrilled. The "Hudson hates spunk" line made him feel like he was a lock to land the role. Then a couple minutes later, he thought that if he didn't land the role it would really be awful. But of course, he immediately understood the character and nailed his audition... only for Jamie Thomason and I to throw him a curveball, asking him to do it again in a Scottish accent. He nailed that, too.
Working with Ed was a joy. He was fun and funny and so supportive. In addition to playing Hudson (and Burbank and Jack Danforth/Dane) on Gargoyles, I also cast him as recurring characters on Max Steel (Chuck Marshak), 3x3 Eyes (Grandpa Ayanokoji), W.I.T.C.H. (Napoleon the talking cat), Young Justice (Kent Nelson) and Rain of the Ghosts (Joe Charone). When casting Peter Parker's late Uncle Ben in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ed was the only person I ever considered. He always brought so much to each and every role.
And more than that he was a great friend to me. After the first season of Max Steel, when I couldn't find a job for over a year and thought I might have to give up on my writing career, Ed was there, offering me support. We had lunch at Musso & Frank's. He looked at pictures of my kids out of my wallet and told me to laminate them. He introduced me to his son, Matt Asner, a producer. He didn't allow me to wallow in self-pity or to badmouth guys who I believed had done me wrong. He just reassured me that I had ability and would find my way through. He was, in essence, my work dad.
So today, as you might imagine, has been complicated. My dad is home and healthy. And Ed is gone. I'm grateful and sorrowful. And struggling. But life goes on. It has to, right?
Finally, I'm going to quote Hudson from Gargoyles. In "The Price," an episode that spotlighted the character, Ed as Hudson told Xanatos: "A friendly word of advice: True immortality isn't about living forever, man. It's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"
I think we all know that Ed Asner did amazing things with the time he had. And though we'll miss him dearly, his legacy is clear and shining.
Hi Greg. I have a few questions:
1) Why was Jade so absent in season 3?
2) Was there any problem with Kelly Hu?
And since in episode 325 Lian said something like "we need to find Cheshire for Daddy" (if I'm not mistaken):
3) Does Lian know that Cheshire is her mom?
4) In fact, does she even know or remember who her mom is?
And last but not least:
5) Did Will actually believe what Jade said about being a soccer mom and all that?
1. Was she? Did she get significantly more time in Seasons One and Two? If so, I guess the answer is that story drives the use of our characters, as always.
2. No. She was great, as always.
5. Believe? I don't understand.
Q1)I wanted to ask regarding the castings for Young Justice Outsiders, How did you and the crew decide to give the roles of Geo-Force, Terra, Halo, Forager,Cyborg and Darkseid to Troy Baker,Tara Strong,Zehra Fazal,Jason Spisak, Zeno Robinson and Michael Leon Wooley?
Q2)And for replacments decide on David Kaye and Greg Cipes to be Vandal Savage and Beast Boy, i know regarding Greg as Beast Boy u did not cast him in the initially because u did not want any Teen Titans reprisals at the time so what change your mind instead of picking another actor because Logan Grove was unavailable for S3?
Geo-Force - Brandon had worked with Troy Baker before and knew he was a good candidate to play Geo-Force/Brion Markov. We did have him audition (against no competition) just to confirm he could do the Eastern European accent without it sliding into Boris Badenov territory. He could. So we cast him. And he's been great as Brion and other characters ever since.
Terra - We held auditions for Terra/Tara Markov, and Tara Strong just nailed it.
Halo - I knew I wanted to cast Zehra Fazal as Halo / Violet Harper / Gabrielle Daou, and basically wrote the part with her in mind. Brandon and Jamie and I went to see her in a stage play, where she played multiple roles, so that they could confirm just how great and versatile she was.
Forager - With Wally West largely out of the picture, we knew we wanted to find something else to keep Jason Spisak in our cast. Brandon thought Forager would be a good bet and talked about the character with Jason, who loved the idea. We hired him without any try-out, and he was instantly great.
Cyborg - We held auditions for Victor Stone/Cyborg under the false flag of a pretend show with a fake character name. Zeno Robinson was our clear favorite for the role. We brought him in for a callback (with no competition), mostly to see if he had the versatility to play any other roles (such as Steel). We decided then and there that he was our Vic, and seeing Brandon and I in the Control Room, he had already begun to suspect whom he might be playing. We told him he had the role and confirmed he was playing Cyborg, and he practically BURST right in front of us. It was great fun.
Darkseid - We had already discussed a number of potential people to find YJ's version of Darkseid, when Brandon remembered Michael Leon Wooley's performance of the character from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Jamie and I listened, and immediately Michael had the job.
Vandal Savage - We held auditions to see who could do the best job performing in the giant shoes that the late, great Miguel Ferrer had left behind. David Kaye was the clear favorite.
Beast Boy - When it became clear that Logan Grove was not going to be available to us, we talked with Jamie about who might be able to take his place. After we described the character's journey in Season Three, Jamie suggested Greg Cipes, knowing that we might not go for it, but feeling like Greg'd be perfect for the part. I'd worked with Greg on W.I.T.C.H. and agreed, but our upper management had been pretty adamant about us not using Titans' lead actors to play the same roles they had played on Titans. (Other Titans' actors were kiboshed for certain parts for that reason.) It was something Brandon and I initially agreed with way back in Season One, but by this time, we felt YJ had established itself as its own thing, and we were less afraid of comparisons. And for whatever reason, TPTB were fine with us casting Greg as Beast Boy.
Pretty much the entire main cast of Gargoyles have popped up in some way or another on "Young Justice." But there are just a couple who have not quite shown up as of yet. Will there ever be a potential role for Salli Richardson, Frank Welker or Jonathan Frakes?
Without going into specifics, Jamie and I have talked about bringing more ex-Gargoyles actors to YJ when the role seemed to fit. Sometimes we didn't have the right role. Sometimes the actor wasn't available at the right time. But there's literally no one (living or dead) from Gargoyles that I wouldn't love to get on YJ.
Rewatched "Grief" on DVD today.
The only new observation I have is that, this time, I noticed how Keith David did the "aged-up" Goliath; his voice sounded, while recognizably Goliath's, much older. I thought it another "mark of honor" for the "Gargoyles" voice cast.
Yeah. Keith - and our whole cast - were just amazing.
I rewatched "Golem" on DVD.
Not many new observations or insights, but I was impressed by the late Robert Culp's performance, the way he switches the tone of Renard's voice when he's in the Golem's body. It still sounds like Renard, but tougher, more vigorous.
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I found the scene where Janus was petting Bronx on the head charming. (And all the more impressive, given that he's just encountered his first gargoyle beast only minutes before. He clearly picked up on Bronx's nature quickly.)
Bronx is very lovable.
1. For YJ S3, was the voice recording typically done with the voice actors in the same room, or individually?
2. Has the voice recording process (whether in groups or individually) changed from season to season?
1. Mostly in group sessions.
2. Not until the pandemic briefly interrupted our recording process on Season Four, at which point we shifted massively to recording everyone individually, sometimes from their various homes, with all of us listening in over Zoom.
How did you go about developing a voice for Ultra-Humanite?
I went down to my lowest register and roughed it up. Then we used technology to deepen it further and to futz it, so that it sounded like it was coming out of an electronic voice box.
I love watching Young Justice and Gargoyles, they're amazing shows! I can't wait for the 2nd half of YJ outsiders, but regarding your earlier work, what was your favorite part about producing Gargoyles?
Back then... probably the voice recordings and the sound mixes.
Why didn't Tim Curry return as G. Gordon?
Unfortunately, Tim, who'd suffered a stroke, wasn't able to voice him, at least not at the time we needed the work done for Season Three.
Hey Greg just wondering if you noticed how Keith David mirrored Puck's role n gargoyles.
In Star vs the forces of evil, Keith plays Glossarick who is basically a magic mentor. In one episode he took a baby magical princess called Meteora in a magical adventure to teach her magic while her mother wasn't aware.
This reminded me of Puck doing the exact same thing with Puck and Alex Xanatos.
Just wanted you to know Goliath now went full circle and played Pucks' role. Cool, isn't it?
Hello, huge fan of your work, i have rewatched the first 13 episodes of Young Justice Outsiders 6 times over as i write this. I wanted to know, why is Greg Cipes voicing Beast Boy? Now i am a big fan of his and of course the his previous work as Beast Boy.
But i wonder what happened to Logan Grove, did he not want to reprise the role? Or was he to busy with other work? or was it already planned to have Greg come in and do the voice?
We were looking forward to using Logan in Season Three, but were told that Logan was no longer acting and was attending Annapolis as part of the U.S. Navy. So after some discussion with our director Jamie Thomason, Brandon and I agreed that given where we were heading with the character, Greg Cipes (whom I'd enjoyed working with on WITCH) was our top choice to replace Logan as Garfield, irrespective of Greg's history with the character.
I was wondering about Jean Dewolff's change from captain to patrolman and Italian American (I think) to Native American. I like the changes but am curious about the thought process behind them.
Also, what people was Jean from?
Also, does she know Elisa Maza? I'm guessing that Native American NYC cops are a small sorority.
Also, Jean and a few other characters (EG Gwen, Captain Stacy) die in the comics. I won't ask names because of spoilers, but were you planning on some character deaths if the series had continued?
Thanks, and i hope you get to follow up on SSM and Gargoyles someday. I really mss those shows. At least YJ is coming back!
1. We had long-term plans for Jean, which necessitated her starting as a patrolwoman.
2. We were looking to increase diversity in the show, and the name DeWolff suggested a nice fit with Native American.
3. Never worked it out. Guess I'd lean toward Inupiat and French Canadian/Cree (Metis) ancestry, which matches her voice actor, Irene Bedard. (Or so Wikipedia tells me.)
4. Let's assume that in the Gargoyles Meets The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Young Justice Universe that they do.
5. No spoilers.
Hi Greg! First of all, congrats on Season 3! I'm hyped beyond imagination. Full honesty, I've kind of arrived to this party very very late since I literally binge-watched the entire show for the first time only last month. I know, I know, like "Hello, self! Why not watch it before?"
Anyway, the absolute thing I adore the most (you probs get this one a lot) is Wally and Artemis' pairing. They work so well with each other and they are the purest things in my life. This show has brought a huge smile to my face during one of my hardest times, and I am beyond grateful to you and all the YJ team for this. My gushing aside, I really wish we'd gotten to see more of their relationship before what happened in the finale with him, and to me, the simple thought that while everyone else in the team grew over the time skip from seasons 1 to 2, they grew together. I have literally no words for how much I adore them. Fine, here comes the questions:
1. Is there anything, any little teeny tiny breadcrumbs of their relationship that you guys developed in regards of their relationship that weren't shown onscreen? i.e why they decided to get Brucely, something, anything please humor me on this one.
2. What are your opinions on them as a couple? Did you and the writers prepare it beforehand or did it just 'happen' as you went along?
3. Did you guys at the studio use Dick's made up words (like aster, traught, whelmed, etc)? Because I do, and I'm pretty sure the rest of the fandom does as well.
4. What is the thing you as a creator missed the most about writing this show?
Bye! And again, thank you so much, Mr. Weissman. For everything. Really. <3
1. There are a lot of stories in my head.
2. We saw it coming before they did.
3. Sometimes. Whelmed, in particular.
4. Spending time with our voice cast.
Don't you find it amazing that the show which aired in the mid 90's produced a character, who was only in 4 episodes mind you, the Puck... so important and so popular that he has made such an impact on the fan culture... that over 20 years later people are still making new fan art and fics about him on a daily basis. When you created him did you think he would gain such a following?
I don't know if I thought that about him specifically, but it became clear once Brent Spiner recorded the voice that we had something special there.
Hi Mr. W, I've been a big fan of Young Justice since I was 12 (I'm currently 16) I really love your work on Young Justice and I was wondering if all the original voice actors/actresses will be back for season 3. If that question was a spoiler than my backup question is, what was your most memorable moment from working on Young Justice.
Thank you for reading x Ruman
We always bring back previously cast voices if they are at all available to us. We only recast if we have no choice.
You once said you held auditions for Impulse, Blue Beetle, Tim and another. Was that Static?
Yes, at the beginning of S2, we held auditions for Impulse/Bart Allen (Jason Marsden), Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes & Scarab (Eric Lopez), Robin/Tim Drake (Cameron Bowen) and Static/Virgil Hawkins (Bryton James). We already knew we wanted Mae Whitman to play Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark. And we already had Crispin Freeman for Arsenal, Logan Grove for Beast Boy, Yuri Lowenthal for Lagoon Boy, Alyson Stoner as Batgirl, Kevin Michael Richardson for Guardian, and Masasa Moyo as Bumblebee.
Note that for extra security/secrecy, we created a completely non-existent series for Jason, Eric, Cameron, Bryton and others to audition for. They had no idea they were auditioning for Young Justice.
I want to repost this question like you suggested:
I'm interested in your thoughts (and possibly Brandon Vietti's and Jamie Thomason's as well, if possible) on the casting process for the voices of the main characters of Young Justice. What was/is it that the main cast - Jesse McCartney, Khary Payton, Nolan North, Stephanie Lemelin, Danica McKeller, and Jason Spisak - bring to their respective characters that you, Vietti, and Thomason were looking for? In another question, you answered that the members of Young Justice were chosen based on a variety of factors (i.e. personality, dynamics, etc.). How did that play out in the casting process?
I'm not going to attempt to speak for Brandon or Jamie, though I'd lay odds our thoughts on this subject are at least similar. But I'll take the original six leads and - one by one - give a little bit about what I remember from ... nearly a decade ago.
B-01 Jesse McCartney as Robin - Jesse was one of the last actors cast, mostly because we were having trouble finding a Robin, and Jesse was part of a second (or third?) round of auditions that we went through in our search. We were looking for someone who could bring the fun of our thirteen-year-old kid. Who could do that gleeful laugh and pull off words like "whelmed" ... and still bring the serious when we needed it. Jesse could do all that. Was that because he himself had been a pro since he was a kid? I don't know. All I can tell you is he brought all those qualities.
B-02 Khary Payton as Aqualad - Khary actually had a strike against him, going in, because he played Cyborg on Teen Titans. As we wanted to distinguish ourselves from that series and Justice League Unlimited, we weren't too inclined to use regulars from those series as regulars in ours. But Khary's audition just nailed it, leaving us no choice. (Thank God.) He instantly "got" the character and instantly mastered that combination of wistful steadfastness, maturity and leadership we were looking for, without making the character suddenly older than his sixteen years. Plus he really nailed that feeling of English-as-a-second-language that we wanted our Atlantean to have.
B-03 Jason Spisak as Kid Flash - As Jamie often said, no one was better than Jason at bringing out his inner douche. Wally had to be both obnoxious and lovable. He had to be smart and a dope. He had to be Robin's best friend and a bit of a pain. Enthusiastic and insecure. Blustering and vulnerable. Jason was able to bring all those contradictions to life.
B-04 Nolan North as Superboy and Superman - This was tricky, too, as we needed someone who could play both Superman (age 33) and his clone Superboy (age 16). Nolan does an amazing job at playing both characters, making them sound distinct and yet genetically the same. Conner had to start out angry but have somewhere to go. There had to be heart and depth beneath his hardened exterior. Nolan did all that.
B-05 Danica McKellar as Miss Martian - We were actually looking for someone who had a bit of experience as a sitcom actress to play M'gann (and eventually Megan Wheeler and Marie Logan). Someone who understood those rhythms but could transcend them, as well. Someone who could play the insecurity that comes with hiding big secrets from the people she's closest to, but also be a bad ass when necessary. Someone who would be unafraid to be soft and (traditionally) feminine and not be hamstrung by that.
B-07 Stephanie Lemelin as Artemis - Artemis needed edge. She was the tough girl, particularly in contrast to Miss Martian. But underneath it, she - like most of the other characters - had some vulnerability and a lot of insecurity because of the secrets she too was hiding. Stephanie brought that edge.
And, of course, all six brought - in addition to their acting skills and intuitive understanding of the character - certain vocal qualities that just felt like they fit the designs of the characters.
"I not only won't confirm or deny that Wally is coming back, I won't even confirm or deny that he's appearing in flashback, or confirm or deny that Jason Spisak is in any way involved with Season Three."
You do realize that there is a video of Jason in the studio with the rest of the season 3 cast, right? I guess he could just be stopping by to say hello to some of his old friends on the cast?
You do realize that voice actors are in recording studios for all sorts of different series and projects, right?
Been a long while since I've asked you anything here. I hope things are well with you. Sounds like you're busy these days and I'm glad to hear it.
I'm writing to ask you about Gargoyles. It's crazy to think that the property is approaching its 25th year. And very cool to think that "in-universe" Artus and other gargoyles around the world are less than a year away from hatching!
But what I'm writing about is the future of Gargoyles on television, in comics, novels, etc. It feels like the last few years have been very quiet for Gargoyles. The last Gathering is nearly a decade behind us. We've had no new material in even longer. Revisions on GargWiki only trickle in these days. Gargoyles fan sites are steadily being abandoned or dying. Even Ask Greg is far more of a Young Justice site these days. The Comment Room is pretty quiet, a shadow of what it was when I first discovered it over 17 years ago. And we fans are slowly growing older. And with all of these disheartening facts, I'm beginning to lose hope in new Gargoyles material from here on out.
It's hard for me to even admit that. I can remember getting very fired up and launching into pep talks when others would express similar thoughts over the years. Maybe I'm writing this in hopes of getting a pep talk myself. I don't know. Really, I just want to know what your thoughts on the future of Gargoyles is. Good or bad, I'd just like to hear it from the man himself.
Let me be clear: I'm not asking if you've given up on the property. I know that you have never failed to look for an outlet to tell your stories and I know that if you were given a chance you'd happily tell those stories in any medium. I'm just curious about your personal and professional opinion on any future Gargoyles products.
I will always be a fan. I will always love the stories you've told us. I will always have some hope that more stories will be told and I'll be quick to support the property if/when that happens. I'm just feeling like Gargoyles is all in the past. Honestly, am I right? Or am I just being dramatic? And if Gargoyles does have a chance in the future, what can we do to help it along after all these years?
Thanks, Greg. You rock. Thanks for everything!
You're just being dramatic. Which doesn't mean you aren't also right. Which doesn't mean there isn't hope. Confused yet?
Here's a hard truth: Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm. Why take a chance on a 25-year-old action property that (to their mind) has an aging/shrinking fanbase when you can exploit sure things like Star Wars and Spider-Man?
That's the big hump right now.
In addition, comic book publishing of Disney's licensed properties has been in disarray. As I'm sure you've noticed, we made some progress with Joe Books... and then it all fell apart. We're now waiting for Joe's license to lapse and are hopeful -actually hopeful - that we can make new comics happen with a new publisher. [Name of new publisher being withheld for now until a deal is made.]
So, no, of course I haven't given up. Gargoyles is my baby, and I'll never give up on it. I hope the fans won't either, but I understand there isn't much new to talk about these days, so it's natural that interest wanes. But I hope if and when there is something new to talk about, the fans will help me launch a campaign to get that new stuff noticed.
I truly believe that our best bet right now is, in fact, comic books. I can tell original canon stories (with little or no interference), and then we can use the comics to demonstrate that the property is still viable, just as we used Netflix to prove that Young Justice was still viable.
I'm also hopeful that once Disney has its own version of Netflix up and running in 2019 (just in time for our 25th Anniversary), that they'll put Gargoyles up there for streaming. Then we can begin a #KeepBingingGargoyles campaign, and who knows what might happen?!
Meanwhile, though it's true we haven't had an official Gathering since 2009, we did have a Gargoyles-convention-within-a-convention that was VERY successful at CONvergence in 2014 in Minneapolis, honoring the show's 20th anniversary. We did all the old Gathering stuff: showed the videos, multiple panels on the subject (including the biology/cultural panel), an original Gargoyles Radio Play, and we had Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur & Greg Guler there, as well. Many old Gargoyles fans showed up, and we had a blast. http://www.convergence-con.org/about/archive/2014-convention/
I'll be back at CONvergence in July of 2018, and although it won't be a full-on Gargoyles convention-within-a-convention again, we will do a Radio Play, and I always do at least one Gargoyles panel.
Plus, I've been talking with a venue to do another Garg-con-within-a-con to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2019. I'll keep you posted here, but you should think about attending. It'll get the juices flowing.
So, no, don't despair. I'm always pretty upfront about the likelihood of anything happening, and right now it's a bit slim. But down the road, I still see a lot of potential. Stick with us!
Jason Spisak recently teased: "A tiny taste of Wally from the new #TTJudasContract movie for those who can't wait for #YJSeason3!"
I just wanted to say that even if this is reliable, I'm not taking anything for granted. This could mean anything, right? It doesn't mean you're resurrecting Wally. For all we know, Wally could just appear in a flashback.
I not only won't confirm or deny that Wally is coming back, I won't even confirm or deny that he's appearing in flashback, or confirm or deny that Jason Spisak is in any way involved with Season Three.
Hey, Greg,I've got to tell you something, Josh Keaton, the voice of Spider-Man in Spectacular Spider-Man reprised the character in the Marvel Super Hero Squad video games and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, And he was going to reprise his role in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, But he was replaced by Drake Bell from Ultimate Spider-Man.
What do you think of this?
I think Josh is great, and my ideal Spider-Man. So I'm happy whenever he gets to do anything (but especially Spider-Man).
Was Snapper Carr supposed to have a larger onscreen role in young justice? In the comic book that the series was based off of he had a much larger role,why did you guys change that when you made the animated series?
The series was NOT based off the 90s Young Justice comic. That was one of MANY influences, of course. But the series was based on the entire DC Universe and 75 years worth of continuity, and the 1960s and 1970s Teen Titans were easily as great an influence on us as the 90s YJ series was.
Lucas Carr's role was exactly what we wanted it to be. Believe me, since I played the part, I would have loved to have given him more screen time. But we gave him as much as fit in our series, given our limited amount of minutes and episodes.
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