When circumstances force Barry Allen to run faster than ever, he finds himself tossed through time into a World War II battle between the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society and a platoon of Nazis in the 1940s. Fighting alongside the titular superhero team in Justice Society: World War II is Steve Trevor, voiced by Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley, The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse). Being the only non- super-powered member of the team does not keep Trevor from assisting his fellow heroes to tip the scales of war in their favor; in fact, his performance is the heart of the story. No stranger to DC heroes, Chris has previously voiced Green Arrow, stole a role from Benicio del Toro, inspired a brand of tequila, and is currently the new voice of Mickey Mouse. In anticipation of the April 27th release date, Diamantopoulos sits down with Bleeding Cool to share his thoughts on the Justice Society: World War II, how the non-superpowered Steve Trevor holds his own in this time-skipping World War II thriller.
Bleeding Cool: Steve is at the center, and you could argue that it's your performance that holds this whole movie together. No matter if it is proposing to Wonder Woman or fighting Nazis, your voice always has an air of calm confidence. What ideas did you bring to the booth, or did voice director Wes Gleason help you find the voice for Steve?
Chris Diamantopoulos: I did have some ideas, but I tell you what, the reason I was free-wheeling with my ideas because of how much respect I have for Wes; I think Wes and Butch (Lukic, Supervising Producer) are really the unspoken heroes in this whole thing. Because the fact that they were able to weave together these performances in a way that felt like we were not only all in the room together but that we'd all known each other for twenty years. You know what I mean? And given the fact that I was in a booth at another date and time than Stana (Kanic, Wonder Woman) was, and then you hear our banter, it's really a testament to Wes and Butch being able to set the stage for me before anything has been drawn or rendered. … I went into the notion of playing Steve Trevor with the hope that I would at least be able to energetically imbue a little bit of decisive stoic Humphry Bogart, and witty repartee Gary Grant and butch and Wes were keen to sort of let me weave it into what my natural sound is.
BC: You mentioned the banter with Stana; it was mentioned during the WonderCon panel that none of the cast had met before for the promotion for this movie?
CD: That's correct. When we did the panel, I fell in love with Stana. First of all, I saw the film, and I fell in love because I just think that what she's done with Diana is just terrific. It's really powerful and moving and just lovely. And she's got such a great sense of humor. I feel like the whole cast; we would have had a ball if we could've recorded together—really, really nice folks.
BC: Justice League; World War II features beautifully choreographed battle scenes which Steve does not shy away from and then swings back with huge emotional gut punches, which you are also sometimes involved in. Can you describe the very unique approach, or at least what I think is a new look at the relationship between Steve and Diana in this movie?
CD: When I saw the movie, I was like, wow. This is Casablanca but in the Superhero universe. I think that what they've done well and what they've been able to manage is giving the fans of the genre everything they want. And like you said, some of those action sequences where she is just blowing through Nazis, just staggeringly powerful. And then using the era as an opportunity, particularly for Steve and Diana, to have their banter as he is continually trying to propose to her. I just think that it's something so charming. There is a throwback feel to it, but it is not alienating to a younger audience that may not be familiar with that genre or that form of male/ female interplay. I think what they've done here is create truly a film that kids can watch with their parents, and their parents will get something completely different from it than the kids get.
BC: Steve Trevor has been fighting alongside Wonder Woman since 1941 and has appeared in every form of media- television, animation, and movies. How does it feel to put your stamp on such an iconic DC character?
CD: I became an actor because I was a child once. I was overcome with joy anytime I'd watch a film that moved me, or a tv show or cartoon. So I always just imagined that the actors that got to do the role that moved me so much would have thought, 'Oh gosh. This is the best job ever.' I remember when I was cognizant enough, probably in my early teens, and I would read interviews of some of my heroes playing iconic roles, and I was always dismayed anytime I would read the actor say, 'Oh, I never read the source material or the comic, or I was never into that as a kid.' It always bummed me out… I kind of swore subconsciously that that would never be me. So I wear it with great pride when I get to play Green Arrow or Mickey Mouse or Steve Trevor. I mean, I don't take myself seriously, but I take the work dead seriously. And I know that there is a nine-year-old Chris out there who is going to be seeing Steve Trevor, my Steve Trevor, for the first time. So I want that kid to be all in. Because the whole point of all this is let's make this charade come alive so that we can dis pear for 85 minutes. But no. I absolutely love it. It means a great deal to me that I am able to hold some space as these characters that have lived before me and will live well after me.
"Justice Society: World War II" finds modern-day Barry Allen – prior to the formation of the Justice League – discovering he can run even faster than he imagined, and that milestone results in his first encounter with the Speed Force. The Flash (Matt Bomer) is promptly launched into the midst of a raging battle – primarily between Nazis and a team of Golden Age DC Super Heroes known as The Justice Society of America. Led by Wonder Woman (Stana Katic), the group includes Hourman (Matthew Mercer), Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru), Hawkman (Omid Abtahi), Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos), and the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor). The Flash quickly volunteers to assist his fellow heroes in tipping the scales of war in their favor while the team tries to figure out how to send him home. But it won't be easy as complications and emotions run deep in this time-skipping World War II thriller.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Justice Society: World War II will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting April 27, 2021, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray on May 11, 2021.