Even though San Diego Comic Con 2019 is just a speck in the ole’ Bat- Jeep’s rear view mirror now, we still have some goodies to share. On assignment from Bleeding Cool I attended the world premiere of Batman: Hush, and it was glorious. Have you seen it yet? I’ll wait. About 20 minutes before the premier director Justin Copeland is feeling no pressure. From his start at DC as a storyboard artist on Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts to moving up to story supervisor on Gotham By Gaslight Jason has worked with some of the biggest names at WB Animation, and claims director Sam Lui (The Killing Joke) as his mentor. Just minutes away from the world premiere of his directorial debut the completely chill Justin sits down to tell us how this classic Batman tale came to be made into an animated feature..
The original comic, first published in 2002, written by Jeph Loeb and Drawn by Jim Lee, is a story that Batman, and even the most casual comics fans are very familiar with. I mean, we already know who Hush is, right? (Wink) How in the world are you going to tell a story that everybody knows, Justin? Exudding a calm confidence, Copeland takes a sip of water before explaining That DC Animation has it’s own Cinematic universe and the challenge was to make this story fit into that universe.
“I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised, I hope you like what we did. I think that if you are putting a character through - putting these characters through their paces , showing them in these dramatic moments that tell a story. I think If you do that right, no matter what it will be cool.”
“While you want to try to keep the iconic stuff from the comic, you want to tell the story that is on the page. If you try to deviate too much, you'll run into lots of problems. Like, from the trailer you can kind of see the iconic scenes from the comic. Like Batman kissing Catwoman. We wanted to make sure that was in there, at the same time, your composition should follow the narrative. You should set the shot up the way the story needs to be told for that dramatic moments, … and then we just let the chips fall. You want to get a strong story out compositionally, just based on the script
Batman: Hush is packed with guest villains and heroes so we asked Jason which one of the characters journey does he like the most?
“Probably Selina, I love it when characters bring humanity out of characters, and she does that for Bruce Wayne. You know Bruce Wayne, the line between him and Batman is blurred. Is he Batman or is he Bruce? I would say he's more Batman than anything, but you see a lot of his humanity in this movie, and she brings that out of him. She is a very interesting character, is she a good guy,or, is she a bad guy. What is she in this canon?”
Sam Lui (Justice League Vs The Fatal Five), James Tucker (Batman: The Brave And The Bold), and Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) are some pretty big names in the industry to be working with on first feature. How can a young upstart artist get to Justin’s position?
“I wish I would have learned to write first, before I started to focus more on drawing, art style, all that stuff. The writing is the key...As a storyboard artist I can draw Batman kicking the crap out of the Joker all day long, but it gets boring. Why is he doing this thing and what is the story you’re trying to tell? Focus on writing, focus on telling a narrative story. I think that's the best thing you can do if you're trying to break in.”
Copeland goes into so much more in the video below, but he warned: it may be a tad bit SPOILERY if you have not seen Batman: Hush yet, and shame on you if you have'n’t. Justin also tells us what scenes he had to cut, but wished he would've kept, his dream DCEU project, his other favorite characters, his thoughts on the animated Suicide Squad and he teases his next project for DC, but that's not all. Push the play button, if you dare!
Batman Hush is directed by Justin Copeland (Reign of the Supermen) and stars Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle), Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time), Maury Sterling (Homeland), Geoffrey Arend (Madam Secretary), Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity), Hynden Walch (Teen Titans Go!), Bruce Thomas (Legally Blonde, Kyle XY), and Jason Spisak (Young Justice)
Batman: Hush is available for Digital Download now, and Blu ray purchase August 6, 2019