Troy Baker Talks About Portraying Batman in “Battle of The Super Sons” in An Interview.!
ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Troy Baker, who voices Batman/Bruce Wayne Bateman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons. Baker discussed Bruce s role in the film and his goals as a performer. The film is now available on4K, Blu-ray, and digital.
Ahhhh, to be young and charged with saving the world from impending doom! That s the burden that 11-year-old Jonathan Kent and reluctant young sidekick Damian Wayne face in this all-new DC Animated Movie reads the film s official synopsis.
On his birthday, Jonathan Kent learns his dad is Superman and that he has latent superpowers of his own! He also meets the legendary Dark Knight and current Boy Wonder, Damian. But when the two boys are forced to team up to protect their loved ones from a hostile alien force, will they become the Super Sons they’re destined to be?
Tyler Treese: You’ve played Batman in the past, but this iteration’s very interesting. He’s a father, he’s trying to raise Damian, and that’s one of the few things in his life that he can’t control. So what did you find most intriguing about this version of Batman?
Dude, you just said it. That right there is something that I’m glad [you picked up on]. I was hoping everybody would take that away from the story. Specifically, with Batman — Batman always has a plan. He always has something in his utility belt that can solve the problem. And there’s that specific moment that speaks to exactly that.
When Batman and Superman crash down, and he jumps out and burns through the glass, and he burns the Starro on Superman, and he’s like, “the boys.” In one line, we get to see from Batman, he’s like, “I don’t know how to deal with this.” I feel like the fact that that registered with you … we accomplished our goal, because really, the heavy lifting of this movie is all on the Jacks [Jack Dylan Grazer and Jack Griffo, voices of Jon Kent and Damian Wayne], right? And they do such a good job at it.
I really have to commend them. Both of those kids … they’re no strangers to doing voice roles, but specifically for this, it just reads like everything — every choice that they made — felt earned. I was incredibly impressed by what they do. The fact that Superman and Batman both have to take the back seat, first of all, there’s something that narratively takes place where we are able to do that — having starfish stuck to our faces that put us out of the game for a little bit, in the penalty boxes as it were.
But the fact that Superman is trying to relate to his son in the same way that Batman is trying to relate to his son and that we get to see that displayed on the screen in a very tangible way … for me and Travis [Willingham, voice of Superman], first of all, this is the first time that we’ve done this as dads, and the first time we were able to see those characters through the lens of being a dad.
It’s something that I was really hoping would come across. What I’m saying is that these are superheroes because they save the world because they lock away criminals and putting them in Arkham Asylum, but it’s also the fact that they’re superheroes without the cape and without the cowl — the fact that they’re dads. Clark showing up for the baseball game makes him a superhero.
Bruce hugs Damian and says, “I’m proud of you,” is him being a superhero. So all the dads or moms that watch this with their kids … I hope what they take away from this is that you don’t need the cape of metal towel or the cowl to be a superhero, but just showing up and making lunch for your kids and providing for them and showing up to baseball games — that’s being a superhero.
Starro is such a fun villain. Batman gets possessed, so we see this sinister version. How fun was it, showing a darker side of the character?
Dude, it’s always fun, but there’s always that moment in the session where I’m like, “Do you want me to do that sound? Are you going to do something?” And they’re like, “we want to hear what it sounds like if you do that.” Because again, we’re brought in super early, so we’ve got the script and we may have a storyboard, but we don’t necessarily know what it’s going to look like.
We don’t know what the animation style is, we don’t know how that moment is going to be represented on screen. So they’re like, “whatever it would sound like if you were to have a starfish attach itself to your throat and then possess your soul.” So what did that sound like? “Oh, it’s coming out of you, by the way. So it went inside you first, and then it’s going to come out and attach itself to your face.”
I’m like, “Hmm. Well, let me just thumb through the Juilliard manual of acting to tell you what that’s supposed to sound like.” So it’s us being kids, man. We’re just in the booth in front of the mic going, “I don’t know, maybe it sounds like this!” But Starro is such a deep cut as a villain that no one would have ever — and this is what’s great about what they’re doing now with these movies — they’re able to go, “Hmm, we’ve done the adaptations, right? We’ve done killing Joke, we’ve done along Halloween.
What does it look like if we pull this deep-cut villain and bring him into the forefront of a really poignant storyline between Batman and Superman as fathers wrestling with being good parents,?” I don’t know how that pitch happened, but here we are two years later and honestly, this movie sits on the top shelf for me, along with mask of the Phantasm, Under the Red Hood, andLong Halloween as one of the best ones that have come out from this ever.
Persona 4 is being re-released next year. Kanji has such an amazing storyline that’s still resonating with people. When you see a character your voice still having an impact more than a decade later, what does that mean for you?
Dude, it means that I did my job. Honestly, all I ever want to do is I want to make a game that I want to play and I want to be in a cartoon that I want to watch. That’s all that I want to do. The fact that I can stand alongside the fans of these things and be like, “I appreciate these stories just as much,” that’s me doing my job. It’s something that I take great pride in. I never thought that Kanji specifically was going to resonate with people as much as he did.
But every time that someone comes up and tells me how much that character meant to them, it just reminds me of how fortunate I am and how grateful I am that I get to do this. That’s all I ever wanted to do was, again, the kid that rushed home after school every day to watch Batman:
The Animated Series and learned who Kevin Conroy was and learned that he was the voice of Batman and that it was possible for that to be a job. The fact that I could be that for somebody else is all I ever wanted to do. So if I’ve inspired someone or if nothing else, I’m entertaining someone, I’ve done my job and I’m happy.
I wanted to ask you about working with Hideo Kojima in the past because it’s kind of spooky how prescient he is. During the pandemic, all I could think about was Death Stranding and its themes of connectedness and isolation. Metal Gear Solid 2 just gets more relevant by the day. Working with him and his scripts, how wild is it seeing him bring this all to fruition?
Man, it never surprises me. I think that I’m a pretty smart person. I think I’m fairly educated. I think I have some pretty good ideas, and then I see someone like Kojima, or I see what these writers in this movie were able to pull up and I’m like, “I don’t know anything.” Every time I think maybe I should be in charge, I’m reminded that I work with the most talented people in this industry constantly, and I get to be a part of that. It inspires me to be better.
I definitely am a person who says that if I’m the smartest, most successful person in the room, I’m probably in the wrong room. So the fact that I’ve been able to work with the Hideo Kojima or the Neil Druckmanns, those are the rooms that I want to be in because I may walk in feeling really, really dumb, but I always walk out feeling way smarter. So it’s opportunities like that that I’m really grateful for, and this is definitely one of them.
You mentioned Druckmann and you get to play a part in the Last of Us TV show. What did it mean for you to have them get you involved and play this new role?
Dude, it was absolutely not necessary. It was 100% Neil and Craig both wanted to make sure that there was a spiritual connection between the show and the game. Even though there are a lot of differences between the two. They’re two different mediums and that affords the opportunity to tell that story in a different way. The fact that they allowed me to be a part of that as well … I’ll never forget, man.
The first day on set, I’m standing there in this beautiful location and we were about to go picture up and I just took it in for a second, like “I can’t believe that we’re here.” Because if you had told the person that, 12 years prior to that, was about to walk into an audition for a video game for Naughty Dog, what all would happen subsequently from that, I never ever would’ve expected it to be real. But again, it’s one of those things there that I’m grateful for every day, and every step of the path has led me to where I’m at.