by Thomas Allen Dreyfuss
It’s kind of a weird coincidence that Justice League, the live-action superhero movie and Justice League, the animated television series, both premiered on November 17th. While Warner Bros. Studios has struggled to get the legendary heroes of DC Comics together on the big screen for decades, their animation studio united the Justice League back in 2001 for Cartoon Network. Building off the success of hits like Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond, Bruce Timm along with his many collaborators like writer/producer Rich Fogel and voice director Andrea Romano crafted a superhero universe with so many great characters and a world brimming with possibilities. For over 16 years, Justice League and its successor Justice League Unlimited has served as the perfect gateway into the broader DC Comics universe before Justice League the movie did. In honor of DC Comics’ Justice League Day promotional event, The Perky Nerd comic book shop in Burbank, California hosted a panel featuring Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman) and Phil LaMarr (Green Lantern) to discuss how they were cast in their respective roles. Maria Canals-Barrera was late to the panel but made it to the fan meet up. Casting director Andrea Romano couldn’t make it at all but fortunately, Justice League Writer/Producer Rich Fogel happened to be in attendance and later joined the panel to discuss plotting out the series main story arc of Hawkgirl betraying the League, the transition from the legitimately good first season to the exceptionally great second season, and the mutual love from all three panelists of working with the late Dwayne McDuffie.
Overall, it was a fun time but a big bomb shell of an announcement had the audience lit up with some surprising news. Susan Eisenberg relayed that on a recent interview she and Andrea Romano conducted on the Geek To Me Radio podcast, Romano would come out of retirement if Warner Bros. Animation were to green light a full length Justice League animated film with all seven original cast members. This revelation has made it’s way across social media in the form of the hashtag #JLReunion. To find out more about this movement, I interviewed Wonder Woman herself Susan Eisenberg to uncover the truth:
Comics Beat: Okay, first question: What was your reaction to Andrea Romano’s “come out of retirement” wish for a big budget Justice League animated movie?
Susan Eisenberg: Shocked and overjoyed! I was truly surprised and thrilled when she mentioned it. AND it showed how me how devoted she is to those characters!
So what exactly is the goal of #JLReunion? Is it just to get the original cast back together for a Justice League movie or is it specifically to make a movie set in the continuity of Justice League Unlimited?
It’s about revisiting something that I think was quite magical for the fans and for the cast! It would be incredible if there were continuity from JLU, but it wouldn’t bother me if it were a stand-alone film either. I just believe, and I have felt this way for a long time, there is a real desire to see these characters reunited!
Have you talked to any of the JLU cast or crew about this proposed reunion project?
We were all together at Denver Comic Con last summer for a JL reunion, except for Carl who had a prior commitment, and the feeling in the room among the fans and the cast was so powerful! We all thought wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do something together again?! There was a magical quality to it, and that doesn’t always happen with ensembles. And the relationship with the audience, the fans, can’t be overstated.
Speaking of the fans, what can they do to help reunite the cast of Justice League?
Haha, they can tweet! Seriously, social media plays a huge role here! They can tweet to Warner Bros. and tell them they’d like to see a JL reunion! We posted a tweet yesterday about a reunion, and over 5000 people have responded already. That’s truly remarkable!
I have spoken with @susaneisenberg1 and She told me, if we want a Justice League animated movie with the original cast, we need to let WB know. Tweet @WBHomeEnt with the hashtag #JLReunion
Also, Andrea Romano will even come out of retirement to direct it!#JLReunion pic.twitter.com/Uq5cQFcPS8
— #JLReunion (@AnimatedJL) November 21, 2017
Indeed. One could say it was…Wonderful.
Haha, it was, indeed!
Outside of the main cast, are there any guest stars from JLU you’d love to join this reunion?
Off the top of my head… Mr. Mark Hamill would top my list! In addition to the V.O. actors, I’d love to see some of the creative team back! Bruce Timm, Rich Fogel, Dan Riba, Andrea, of course! You can’t do justice (pardon the pun) to these character without them! Stan Berkowitz,
JLU really was an embarrassment of riches when it came to talent.
Extraordinary! And the truth is that no one would say no to a reunion!
Switching gears: Between being invited to the World Premiere of Wonder Woman, reprising Diana for Injustice 2, and being invited to an early screening of Justice League, how exciting is it to see Wonder Woman become this big superstar in 2017?
It’s beyond exciting… It’s rewarding because it’s so long overdue! Her fans have wanted and waited for this moment for such a long time, and now they finally get to see her step into the spotlight! As for me, personally, it’s been hugely gratifying getting to be a part of it.
I’ve been watching the current season of Supergirl and Carl Lumbly is killing it as Martian Manhunter’s father. Has anyone from The CW/WB approached you to appear on one of the DCTV series?
The short answer is no. I believe it’s different with me because I’ve had a career that has been, by choice, a voice over career and not an on-camera one. Not to say I wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to be involved with these shows… I’d love it, but I don’t think I’m an obviousgo-to choice.
Final question: Do you think that the fans have a shot at convincing the powers that be at Warner Bros. to make this reunion possible?
Yes! I think we all have to try. The fans carry so much more weight than they realize, especially now with social media. There’s a direct link to the powers-that-be, so if there’s something out there they really, truly want, they need to ask for it, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Hawkgirl, Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter will be there right by their sides! ;)