Green Lantern: Beware My Power Cast at San Diego Comic-Con

DC’s Green Lantern: Beware My Power cast shared their thoughts on the film, the importance of the story and a bit of the process of shaping their characters at San Diego Comic-Con. 

Warner Bros. has expanded the DCAU with the release of the animated film Green Lantern: Beware My Power starring One Night in Miami actor Aldis Hodge as Green Lantern John Stewart. The film follows Stewart after returning from a conflict and suffering from PTSD. John Semper, film co-writer, said “This story is about how the only way he (John) can escape from the jungle in his head is to go back into the jungle. Much like Martin Sheen in “Apocalypse Now.” The Rann-Thanagar War serves as a backdrop to John’s return to battle. There he must ask himself, “Why do I fight, and why should I take up the mantle of Green Lantern?”

The direction of this story was heavily influenced by the 1979 psychological, war drama “Apocalypse Now,” directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, and Dennis Hopper.

 In the film, Captain Willard, Sheen, takes a terrifying journey upriver to find and terminate Colonel Kurtz, Brando, a once-promising officer who has reportedly gone completely mad.

Semper and co-writer Ernie Altbacker pulled from various Green Arrow stories, but they were heavily inspired by Neal Adams and Danny O’Niel’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow series, but with a different Green Lantern. They wanted to tell a John Stewart story to a generation of people who grew up with him in the Justice League animated series.

This film expands the new DCAU Tomorrowverse, which consists of Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Justice Society: World War II and Batman: The Long Halloween, Parts 1 and 2.

DC TV Podcasts was able to chat with Jeff Wamester, director; Butch Lukic, supervising producer; several cast members and both cowriters

Co-screenwriter John Semper

Where did you find your inspiration for the story? 

What was your process for co-writing the film? 

What story inspired you most for this film? 

Where is John when we meet him in the film? 

What do you see next for John? 

Do you think this could be his steppingstone into live action?

How do you bring a character with so much history into the modern world?

How did you feel when you watched the film for the first time?

Director Jeff Wamester

What’s your directing process for animated films? 

What can you tell us about the story? 

What made you pick John Stewart for this story? 

What was the production process for this film? 

At which moment in the movie are you the proudest? 

Was there anything cut from the movie you wish you could stay?

Was directing in the booth a challenge? 

Were you involved with casting?

Ernie Altbacker (Co-writer)

So this movie was inspired by “Apocalypse Now,” is there a Colonel Kurtz-type character in the movie? 

Was PTSD part of John Stewart’s original story?

Any scenes with the discussion of trauma? 

Why John Stewart? 

Does the new animation style fit what you were trying to do with this new DC animated universe?

How many scripts did you go through?

Butch Lukic  (Supervising producer)

How did this move come about? 

Did you have a direction for the Tomorrowverse films? 

Will this movie determine if John Stewart is a better Green Lantern? 

Why was important to tell John Stewart’s story? 

What is the plan to introduce other league members? 

Is there a limit to the characters you can use? 

After seeing the final product is there anything you wish you could add? 

Tell us how you were able to make this film longer than other DCAU films. 

With the distribution type, why would the budget be so constrained? 

Did hiring the Hawkman, Aldis Hodge, absorb a chunk of the budget?

What is the relationship between Green Arrow and John Stewart?

Aldis Hodge (John Stewart, Green Lantern)

How does it feel to portray this character and introduce him to this universe?

Are there any parallels between John and yourself?

Are there any dream roles you’d like to add to your 

Could this movie be the springboard to bring John Stewart into live action?

Do you feel like you left your signature on this movie? 

Which was harder to portray, John Stewart the civilian or the Green Lantern side of this character?

What is your voice acting process? 

Are you applying those voice acting skills to your live-action roles?  

Jamie Gray Hyder (Hawkgirl)

Were you familiar with the character, and what was your approach to portraying her? 

Would you ever cosplay as Hawkgirl? 

Have you seen any other animated versions of her? 

As a woman of color, how did you prepare to embody this character 

This is a stronger more independent version of Hawkgirl. How does she interact with the other characters? 

Did you apply any characteristics from your role on Law & Order: SVU to Hawkgirl?

Are you afraid of heights?

Is Hawkgirl going to lead the Justice League?

Do you find there are any similarities between yourself and Hawkgirl?

Jimmi Simpson (Oliver Queen, Green Arrow)

How did you prepare for the role, and what do you like most about Green Arrow?

Are you intentionally picking *sshole roles?

How do you move through your career playing these iconic characters? Is there a variation you are trying to seek out?  

How do you age up your voice? 

What makes this Green Arrow different from other versions? 

Did you do a lot of research or trust the writing? 

How are you with a bow and arrow? 

What’s the most challenging part about voice acting versus others? 

What would like to do with this character down the road?

Would you come back for a Justice League animated film? 

Brian Bloom (Adam Stranger)

What do you like about Adam Strange? 

Talk about his relationship with John. 

Will we see the jet pack? 

What do you hope people will get out of the film?