Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lionsgate
The DC Extended Universe was shot in the arm with the news of the DC League of Super Pets movie and its absolutely stacked cast. The film features Dwayne Johnson, John Krasinski, Kevin Hart, and of course everyone’s favorite officer, Keanu Reeves.
Because the film is animated, this won’t be your run-of-the-mill seriously depressed Batman, but something perhaps a little more lighthearted (it is Batman, after all). There have also been so many portrayals of Batman over the years, even animated ones, that it’s always fun to imagine how a new actor will take on the role.
In an interview with directdirector Jared Stern revealed not only that this portrayal would be unlike anything we’ve seen before, but also that making the movie with the character was a challenge, especially having to follow the batman lego movie.
You know, after having worked, especially batman lego, is a real challenge. There has already been an amazingly funny and animated Batman recently. So he just wanted to do something different for this movie. and I think the batman lego it is [a] very confident boy. Smooth, you know, he’s the type that Emmett [LEGO Movie], the love of his life, Lucy Wildstyle, is the guy you don’t want to date a woman you like, right? She hangs out with the guys from Star Wars. He is just great, Will Arnett. So we knew we wanted to go a different way.
He said that Reeves was a great choice for Batman due to his voice, mystery, and the fact that he looks like he could use a dog.
“So we think our Batman is haunted. You know, he’s a, he’s just kind of lost in this crazy-eyed guy. And he is still Batman. He still kicks butt, but he’s still an amazing superhero. But it’s just that he has seen some things in his life. And most importantly, for our movie, he’s a guy who could really use a pet. And then Keanu [Reeves] it fits so perfectly because his voice was so right for this guy that it’s a little off. A little haunted by his past. But deep down he is a nice guy who could use a dog.”
The idea of the troubled Batman was one that really resonated with Stern.
“I am a huge fan of Batman. I love the new Batman movie. And that was a fun take, as this Noir-esque detective take was really cool. And, yeah, so our guy is kind of, like he was saying, he’s haunted. So, he was haunted by what happened to his parents. And when he was a kid, he fell into a well, this is a guy who has kind of a scar. And then he has a thousand-yard stare. And, and I don’t know, just Keanu’s voice, when we were testing things, we knew he was going to be great. But sometimes, we put the voices of the actors against the image, and it fits perfectly.”
And it all seemed to fit together perfectly, because Reeves has a love of comics that seeped into the role.
“And then when he came in, it was even better. And, to me, it just felt like a guy who, ever since he was a kid, is a huge fan of comics, he makes comics. And he was like, ‘I’m going to be Batman,’ what kid hasn’t dreamed of that, and then he was living that moment. He really loved it and just got lost in it. And you know an actor is having a good time when you’re shooting with him when he wants to come back. Like, you know, if they’re ready to finish, and you’re like, ‘Okay, I think we’ve got it ready, to move on to next time.’ They’re like, ‘Okay, next slide.’ But I felt like he kept coming back and that relaxed me because I thought, okay, he’s having fun. It’s like, ‘I have a better idea.’ I think you’ll do a little better than that. Or what if I say this? So when that happens, you’re like, ‘Okay, he’s having fun. And I always want the actors to have a good time. It shows up in the performance, and you want the people you work with to have a good time.”
DC League of Super Pets hits theaters July 29.