The Joker (Troy Baker) had nothing but praise for Batman (Jensen Ackles) today during Warner Brothers Home Entertainment star-studded CC@Home panel discussion of the most anticipated animated Super Hero release of the year – Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.
The fun began as Moderator Tiffany Smith (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, DC Daily) introduced the all-star panelists featuring including Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Batman: Under the Red Hood) as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Katee Sackhoff (The Mandalorian, Battlestar Galactica, Batman: Year One) as Poison Ivy, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as The Joker and screenwriter Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen, Superman: Man of Tomorrow).
The Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two panel, kicked off with Katee sharing what it is about playing a villain that is so much fun and appealing. "I love playing villains. To me, it's more fun than being a good character. Because when they make me good, for some reason, I'm like super squeaky clean good. So when I get to be bad, I find so many ways to make them relatable and likable. And want them to win, but sadly they usually don't. With someone like Poison Ivy, what's so great about her, and this is back to you know the seriousness of playing the duality of villains, is you know I don't think many people were born bad. Ivy was at one point in her life; there is a piece of her that does crave this life. This sort of sensual life with a partner like Bruce Wayne. Like Batman, who she feels is on her level. And like there's this romanticized thing that she's created in her own head, you know?"
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two writer Tim Sheridan joined in on what is more fun writing, for the heroes or for the villains: "Jensen, close your ears. I mean, this movie, in particular, Part Two, … it's so jam-packed full of these great villains with all of this really, really great dialogue that this incredible cast has to chew up. I had a lot of fun writing the villains on this one."
Troy Baker admits to a slight trepidation on Ackles' casting as Batman but has nothing but praise: "Jensen, I told you offline, but I will say for the benefits everybody, here bro, you smashed it. I was a little, you know, arms folded. I was like, I don't know if you can do this. Because you were so good as Red Hood, and I thought that's all I could see you as and it is an auspicious and terrifying thing to step into the cow because there have been so many people from Adam West, Kevin Conroy, and on down the line that has gotten behind the mic to give that character a voice and dude you stand shoulder to shoulder you were incredible."
Julie Nathanson reflects on her favorite performance in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two: "The other performance that sticks out to me…is Naya Rivera (Glee), who is just phenomenal as Catwoman. And it's, you know it's sad. I think for all of us and tragic that she's not here anymore. And I found myself just sort of like, watching her performance and listening to her and feeling that it's so right on target. She's such a strong character, and she's portrayed so beautifully. So just a little shout out to Naya Rivera."
Jensen shared what it is like stepping into the cowl in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two: "It's just an all-star list of people that have voiced this character and played him in live-action… It is a hot potato, and you don't want to drop this. I tried my best not to not to think about what somebody else had done what I had heard before. I really tried to knock all that out and not go in a direction that felt familiar to me. So I just tried to find it on my own in my own way. … At first, I was concentrating on knocking the Texas out of my accent. .. I didn't want to slip into Matt McConaughey."
During the panel, cosplayer Heidi Matrix dropped make and cosplay pointers as she transformed into 'Female Joker" inspired by baker's performance in Batman: The Long Halloween.
The all-star cast includes Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Smallville) as Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Naya Rivera (Glee) as Catwoman Selina Kyle⁷, Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke (Twilight, Revolution, Zoo) as James Gordon, Titus Welliver (Bosch, Deadwood, The Town) as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man, Dune, The Dark Knight) as Calendar Man, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as Joker, Amy Landecker (Your Honor, Transparent) as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid (The Boys, The Hunger Games) as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Solomon Grundy, Jim Pirri (World of Warcraft franchise) as Sal Maroni, and Alastair Duncan (The Batman, Batman Unlimited franchise) as Alfred. Additional voices were provided by Frances Callier, Greg Chun, and Gary Leroi Gray.
Chris Palmer (Superman: Man of Tomorrow) directs Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One from a screenplay by Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen, Superman: Man of Tomorrow). Produced by Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Kimberly S. Moreau (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Supervising Producer Butch Lukic (Justice Society: World War II, Superman: Man of Tomorrow) and Executive Producers are Michael Uslan and Sam Register
Watch the entire panel here:
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two. Available on digital starting July 27th and on blu-ray august 10th. Batman The Long Halloween Part One is available right now everywhere, and a 4k release of the compilation film will be coming in 2022.