Justice League: Gods & Monsters comes to blu-ray combo pack and DVD July 28. I caught up with Gods & Monsters director SamLiu at San Diego Comic-con just a few weeks ago for a roundtable interview. In this roundtable, Liu discusses his first reactions to the script, the characterizations and more.
Q: How do you step up and do a Justice League film that’s not really a Justice League film?
Sam Liu: I was kind of thinking about that when I started it as well…I think the answer to it is characterization. Do you like the characters? Because the initial jolt is going to be, this is not Superman, this is not Wonder Woman or Batman but once you get beyond that, it’s do I like these characters? Are they interesting? Do I care about them? It’s very important for us to make a compelling story.
Q: Why do you think now is the right time to tell this sort of tale which is such a departure from any Justice League story in the past?
Liu: I feel like every sort of iteration of Batman is sort of different. They are not looking to sort of remake Batman: The Animated Series. They want to give a new thing to them [generation]. This is such a huge departure cause it’s not anything close to them but I think part of it is because Bruce [Timm] just wanted to do something different. The Flash, Sandman and Green Lantern have all been reinvented and we know them as their reinvention, not their actual origin. I think it’s shaking it up sometimes. Bruce has been doing this for twenty years and I think there’s a certain point to where you have to change the character so they have have different motivations.
Q: When they gave you the script, what were your first reactions?
Liu: I think it was the same as a lot of DC fans are thinking, what is this? [Laughs] This is very different. It’s interesting because I think that when we first started it and the further we went along, I think we were pretty engaged in the story. I think structure wise, it’s a pretty compelling story. To answer your question, I think a lot of us were very skeptical [at first].
Q: Was it difficult for you to get rid of your preconceived ideas of these characters?
Liu: At the beginning it was. I had do a lot of discussions with Bruce to see where the character’s lines were, basically, what their intentions were.
Q: After working on this movie, who do you prefer, the original Justice League or the new Justice League?
Liu: In this first film, they’ve only focused on these first three characters, the world is still small. Right now, I like this because I think the characters are compelling. This stuff is newer to me so it’s more interesting.