Matthew Lanter channels his childhood hero voicing Ted Kord in The Blue Beetle. By now, you may have already curled up on your couch with a big bowl of cereal and enjoyed the Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia-laden short featured along with three other stories in DC Showcase- Constantine: House of Mystery. Inspired by the 60s animated adventures of Spiderman, the Silver Age Blue Beetle is back. It would have been just like this short if he had ever starred in an animated series with its own jazzy earworm of a theme song. Welcome to the adventures of Ted Kord, alias the Blue Beetle, as he teams up with fellow Super Heroes Captain Atom, The Question, and Nightshade to battle that nefarious finagler of feelings, Doctor Spectro.
While promoting DC Showcase- Constantine: House of Mystery, Lanter, who is also well known for voicing the animated Anikin Skywalker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny), joins Bleeding Cool for a chin wag about his inspiration for his turn as Blue Beetle, addresses the rumors of a cameo in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and his thoughts on the sudden demise of Netflix's ill-fated Jupiter's Legacy.
I'd like for you to describe it in your words. Can you describe this short for the listeners?
Matt Lanter: It's a short animation, definitely in the 1960s style of campy animation. It's really inspired by the old sixties Spider-Man in its animation. A lot of my inspiration for vocal performance came from Adam West and Batman. Everything is big and announced and just fun. It's a departure from a lot of stuff we've seen recently, which is high-quality, amazing storytelling in the DC universe. Anyone who's got a bit of a sense of humor would probably like to see it.
Why did you focus on Adam West, and how did you pick him for inspiration?
ML: I read the script; it lent itself to that tone, I knew. Adam West. I knew the Batman. I knew the series. I used to watch it as a kid. I loved it as a kid. I guess I didn't realize it was campy, but as an adult, I plainly see that it was extremely campy. I just read Blue Beetle that way. It was familiar to me, and everything was stated the obvious. Almost every line was said with a puffed-out chest and hands on the hips. And that's how you see the Adam West Batman in that show. At least I do.
Speaking of Anakin Skywalker, is there any chance you can break the news today of maybe a cameo, obviously not as an Anikin, but maybe a small cameo in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series?
ML: Well, even if I could, I wouldn't tell you because Lucasfilm, I'm pretty sure they've got my phone tapped and cameras in my house. Look, anytime I get a chance to play in the Star Wars universe, I do. So that would certainly be welcome.
Jupiter's Legacy last year, did you have an idea that there wouldn't be a second season?
ML: Absolutely not. We all thought that we were going to be doing that thing for a long time. I thought we were going to do four or five seasons. I thought that was going to be the next ten years of my life. It was a big shock to all of us. I know Josh (Duhamell) I don't know how much validity is put into the whole Netflix rating system, but we were rated number one. Ten or eleven days. I don't know if that's like an internal Netflix thing that they can fudge to make it look better, but my gosh, if you're number one worldwide for ten days, I'm not sure how you could do a whole lot better than that, but. I don't quite know what went on behind the scenes. It's really a shame. I really love the show, the cast, the story, and I love that character. It really was about to explode.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, DC Showcase: Constantine – The House of Mystery, R-rated (for "Some Bloody Violence"), includes the shorts The Blue Beetle, Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth!, The Losers, and the title subject Constantine: The House of Mystery is currently available everywhere on Blu-ray and in 4K.