photo courtesy of Kevin Parry for Paley Center

Stars and directors were on hand the night before last at The Paley Center in Beverly Hills for the premiere of the animated movie ‘Justice League Doom’ and was there to give you all the details of what went on!

‘Justice League Doom’ brought back many of the voices that fans grew up with in the 90’s and 2000’s. Present at the premiere were Tim Daly (voice of Superman), Phil Morris (voice of Vandal Savage), Olivia d’Abo (voicing Star Sapphire), Susan Eisenberg (voice of Wonder Woman), director Lauren Montgomery, and Andrea Romano (Dialogue/Casting Director).

The evening started off with a red carpet event where the media was able to speak to the stars and directors from the film. Afterwards, those who were able to obtain online screening tickets were treated to a sneak preview of the animated film followed by an hour long panel discussion moderated by Los AngelesTimes/Hero Complex, Geoff Boucher.

‘Justice League Doom’ is the 13th animated movie of the Justice League series and is the last from long time ‘Justice League’ writer Dwayne McDuffie. Romano praised his work during the panel saying, “Dwayne had that remarkable ability of taking a written piece, source material,  a graphic novel, a collection of comic books, and make it actable.”

Unlike the previous ‘Justice League’ films, the animation was actually done in Japan as director Montgomery informed us that many of the in house animators they use were busy with other projects.

“The biggest challenge for this movie was that it was our first time working with an overseas story board. We had to actually have the entire (movie) storyboarded overseas in Japan so myself and my co-director basically had to police the entire story board as it came from overseas and it was a pretty huge task. Cause usually we’re working with an American crew who is more familiar with these characters but because our Japanese crew was not as familiar with the characters sometimes there were would be some inconsistencies that we had to iron out.”

One of the biggest excitements of the night was the return of Tim Daly as the voice of Superman. Although he voiced the Man of Steel in the early versions of the ‘Superman’ animated series, the role went to George Newbern when Daly moved to the East coast. “I’m really sorry I ever went away,” he says, “but I moved to the East and the logistics of it was unworkable.” Romano added that because the voice role required an actor to come in about once a week to record, it wasn’t a doable option to have him continue with the role with him in Rhode Island.  He did add that he’s “glad to be back and hopes to get to do a lot more.”

Also returning after a 6 year absence is Phil Morris who is the voice of Vandal Savage. Coming back after all that time he says, “is like putting on a pair of old shoes.”

“We ratcheted (Vandal) up a little bit this time. He’s a straight no chaser…he’s a little more evil and less lyrical. I like to play him as a smooth criminal. He’s still smooth because he thinks he’s got it, this time he’s got it…He doesn’t mess around with it. I like him, I like him in this guise…It’s incredible (to play Vandal)…I understood his motivations and his egotism much more than when I did when I was first playing him earlier. He’s much more nuanced, I think…and the hero is always better when the villain is great.”

During the panel session, the cast was asked if there was a DC comic book character that they would like to voice. Daly replied, “I had the idea that Kevin Conroy and I should swap parts. I think that would be fun.”

At one point, directors Montgomery and Romano were asked how it felt to direct a better Green Lantern than the one on film which brought applause from the audience. Romano replied with a big smile, “Very, very good!” Added Montgomery, “They gave us a really low bar to jump over.”

The session ended with Romano announcing that she and Montgomery have four new projects they are working on but was only allowed to talk about ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’ “I just saw some of the first few footages of it,” she said, “It’s just beautiful!” When asked who would voice Batman in this version she replied,” I can’t tell you (but) it’s someone really talented…someone really good.”

As someone who has already seen the film, I like the fact that you don’t need to have watched all prior 12 films or seen the TV series to enjoy the movie. There is enough action to keep the kids entertained with nuances for the adults to enjoy and there were a few one liners that are laugh out loud funny. Our very own senior comic book reviewer, Brian Tudor, will review the animated movie in the next few days so make sure you check back.

‘Justice League: Doom’ finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping rogue Justice League members. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded “JLA: Tower of Babel.”

‘Justice League Doom’ will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack in stores starting February 28th and stars the voices of Nathan Fillion (‘Castle’) as Green Lantern, Tim Daly (‘Private Practice’) as Superman, Kevin Conroy (‘Batman: The Animated Series’) as Batman, Michael Rosenbaum (‘Smallville’, ‘Breaking In’) as Flash, Susan Eisenberg (‘Superman/Batman: Apocalypse’) as Wonder Woman,  Carl Lumbly (‘Alias’) as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter, Phil Morris (‘Smallville’,’Seinfeld’) as Vandal Savage, Olivia d’Abo (‘The Wonder Years’) as Star Sapphire, and Alexis Denisof (‘Angel’) as Mirror Master.

More photos from the event: