Currently two of the most popular characters in DC’s arsenal, this summer will see the debut of the animated film Batman And Harley Quinn. Executive produced by Bruce Timm, who goes back to his classic style heralded in Batman: The Animated Series, this is an original story featuring the reluctant team-up of Batman, Nightwing and Harley Quinn to try and stop a global catastrophe caused by Poison Ivy and Jason Woodrue, AKA the Plant-Master.
Returning to voice Batman is Kevin Conroy, who first played the role on Batman: The Animated Series and most recently voiced him for the animated film Batman: The Killing Joke. Loren Lester is Nightwing, and, like Conroy, first voiced the character (as Robin) in B:TAS. Taking on the part of Harley Quinn is Melissa Rauch, best known as Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowsi-Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.
“I love that Harley is a badass and, beyond that, that she uses her humor as another weapon in her arsenal,” comments Rauch. “She knows just how to diffuse a situation with her humor, and how to incite a situation with her sarcasm. It’s a dream role.”
To capture the voice of the character, she adds, “I knew Harley had a higher pitched tone, and a bit of a New York accent — and I come from a New Jersey family where everyone could be former gun molls. So I wanted to give a nod to my background without being as shrill. In all honesty, I used to speak exactly like that — my acting school professors really worked the accent out of me. So it was fun to find those tones and accent again.”
Lester believes this film will go a long way in answering one of the most frequently-asked questions thrown in his direction. “So many fans have asked when there will be another Batman: The Animated Series, and this film really captures that sensibility and essence that people loved about the original series. That makes perfect sense when you know Bruce Timm was at the helm of both. The difference is we’re not restricted by the networks for this film, so we can take the story and characters in more mature areas, and explore more about them as three-dimensional human beings with human feelings and human desires that we often couldn’t explore in the series.”
Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) voices Poison Ivy, having previously voiced Lana Lang in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Lois Lane in Justice League: Gods And Monsters. Additional cast members include John DiMaggio (Ben 10), Eric Bauza, Rob Paulsen, Robin Atkin Downes, Mindy Sterling, Trevor Devall.
Batman And Harley Quinn, an original animated movie, will be released this summer through digital download, Blu-ray and DVD.