Remember Eric Matthews? Boy Meets World, Cory’s wise crackin’ older brother from the classic 90s family sitcom? While many fans of Batman Beyond (’99-’01) may know that Eric Matthews is also Terry McGinnis/Batman on the animated series, not everyone might know the exact story behind how the young actor got cast for the fresh, futuristic legacy character of the Bat.
It was likely a Friday night that Bruce Timm’s wife first saw Friedle on Boy Meets World (’93-2000). Timm co-created Batman Beyond, Batman: The Animated Series, and the iconic interconnected “DCAU” of shows and movies spawned by the two series. Boy Meets World was part of ABC’s TGIF block of ultra 90s family programming. The show starred Ben Savage, real life younger bro of Fred Savage (The Wonder Years, ’88-’93). But, again, it was Cory’s fictional older brother who got on Bruce Timm’s radar for a new teenage Bat, all thanks to Boy Meets World.
Or should I say, “all TGIF for Batman Beyond!”
I had the pleasure Beyond to interview Will Friedle live at NY Comic Con on Sunday, as part of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Batman Beyond 20th Anniversary celebration and Blu-Ray remaster release. I was part of the WBHE press roundtable for C506 and then covered the Beyond panel to follow. I also filmed the interviews for my Above and Batman Beyond YouTube channel and podcast. I think the title of the show indicates how deeply niche and perfect covering this event was for my own creative Beyond project.
Beside Friedle, Batman Beyond cast and crew present at NYCC were Kevin Conroy (Bruce Wayne/the indisputable voice of Batman), the talented Lauren Tom (Dana Tan, Julie from Friends), Andrea Romano (legendary Voice/Casting Director), James Tucker (Director/Character Designer), and Alan Burnett (long time DCAU Writer/Exec Producer).
When it was Friedle’s turn at our roundtable, one of the first things brought up was how he got to be Batman on Batman Beyond.
From my interview with Will Friedle at NY Comic Con 2019:
Third Party Reporter: Was this an audition process?
Will Friedle: It was, yea. I had never done voice over before, so yea, straight up audition process. And, the only reason I even got the audition was because Bruce Timm’s wife was a Boy Meets World fan. And, she said, “That guy there, I think he has a great voice, you should bring him in for something. And, so I always say, “Thank you Bruce Timm’s wife, or, I mean, I’m not gonna be sitting here right now.”
Benjamin David: So, TGI–his wife?
WF: Yea, seriously.
And, for a fine and very funny moment in Batman interview history…
TPR: What appealed you to the character that made you want to play him?
WF: He’s Batman! (Pause, followed by hard laughter). That’s all you need. I mean, having never done animation before at all, and then to step into Batman; and, I was a huge animation fan and was before I went in. BTAS is still arguably the best animated series of all time, so knowing it was going to be Kevin and the whole same crew and Andrea and everybody, how would you not want to go in and do that?
Friedle jokes: And, I still don’t think I have a shot at the part, if I’m totally honest. I tell Andrea all the time: I’m waiting for the box set to come out and to pop it in, and it’s somebody else’s voice. Like, “they finally recast me, ok. I’ve been waiting for this for twenty years. It’s finally James Marsden or someone else. Ok, I get it. “
Batman Beyond Blu-Ray/remaster release details
And, don’t forget about the new Blu-Ray box set Beyond! The entire remastered animated series of Batman Beyond will be available digitally on October 15th, and the incredible WBHE limited edition Blu-Ray box set will be available October 29th.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Emmy-award winning series Batman Beyond comes to Blu-ray. This limited edition deluxe collection includes:
6 discs/52 episodes with Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (The Director’s Cut) full-length movie, and a digital copy
Exclusive chrome Batman Beyond Funko Pop!
4 collectible lenticular cards featuring original animation artwork
Two special features celebrating the Dark Knight’s 80 Years: Nostalgic Tomorrow – A Batman Gathering and Knight Immortal
Stay tuned here at C506 as well as my DC Collecticast podcast/YouTube for live NY Comic Con collectible coverage as well. I interviewed Jim Fletcher, Creative Director of DC Collectibles, followed by a wonderful chat right from Artists Alley with DC Comics’ Batman Beyond colorist, Chris Sotomayor.
Here’s the video version of this same interview, with a bit of extra content. Subscribe to my Above and Batman Beyond YouTube channel and podcast for more roundtable interviews with cast and crew of Batman Beyond!
Follow us on Instagram @batmanbeyondpodcast. Pod available on iTunes, the Anchor app, and many more pod places.
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