ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Legion of Tremendous-Heroes author Josie Campbell concerning the upcoming animated DC movie. The author mentioned defying viewer expectations and the way an action-adventure movie may be like a musical. Legion of Tremendous-Heroes arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital on February 7, 2023.
“Welcome to the 31st century and the Legion Academy, where a new generation hones their powers with hopes of joining the Legion of Super-Heroes,” reads the movie’s synopsis. “Devastated by tragedy, Supergirl struggles to adjust to her new life on Earth. Taking her cousin Superman’s advice, Supergirl leaves their space-time to attend the Academy. There, she quickly makes new friends, as well as a new enemy with old ties: Brainiac 5. But a nefarious plot lurks in the shadows — the mysterious group known as the Dark Circle seeks a powerful weapon held in the Academy’s vault.”
Tyler Treese: That is the primary function movie you’ve written. While you’re writing an extended story like this, does your method change? How was engaged on a full 90-minute film?
Josie Campbell: Yeah, so yeah. As a result of most of my expertise has been in 22 minute, half-hour motion adventures, the largest change is simply approaching the second act. After I write TV episodes, I’m nonetheless utilizing that three-act construction, however with films, extra stuff has to occur and there’s a lot extra time for issues to occur. So I believe the largest problem and the largest distinction was making an attempt to stability motion and journey with emotional stakes and character progress.
Getting the prospect to really have the house to essentially totally dive into a personality like Supergirl or dive a into character like Brainiac 5 and never have to chop issues out and rush issues … for me, in lots of methods, scripting this film — which is the primary film that I’ve gotten to write down — was actually enjoyable. It’s difficult to search out extra issues for them, but in addition it was enjoyable that you simply don’t need to rush by their story. You possibly can actually get to these good juicy scenes of them interacting with one another and that’s simply as necessary because the elements the place they’re punching one another out.
There are some actual deep cuts like Arms Fall Off Boy. What I beloved about this was they’re not simply in there for a joke. The extra obscure characters nonetheless get a second within the film to do one thing vital. How was balancing such an eccentric forged?
It was nice. I used to be choosing characters each from characters I like, as a result of I’m a fan, and likewise characters that stood out within the respective eras of Legion they got here from. That was one of many causes I picked to have all of them within the Legion Academy, as a result of A.) I like the Legion Academy and I like these comics, however B.) It felt like a great way to have the ability to introduce folks to this actually eclectic forged and convey them collectively and provides them a central aim in a approach that if you recognize these characters or when you’ve learn the comics or when you’ve by no means ever, ever heard of the Legion of Tremendous-Heroes earlier than in your life, you’re getting to fulfill them for the primary time and attending to see who they’re by this lens of “We’re all coming together to become superheroes.” So balancing the eclectic bunch was lots simpler as soon as I used to be capable of kind of say, “This is their goal, this is why they’re here, and this is what makes all of them different and unique.”
One factor that stood out concerning the film was the enjoyable love story. Speak me by your method to have that develop and provides it a the period of time it wanted to be significant, however balancing it so it was nonetheless an motion film on the finish of the day.
I’ve form of described it this option to writers I’ve labored with earlier than, however I see writing an motion journey factor as nearly writing a musical. Each motion sequence, each second in it’s mainly the identical because the musical numbers in a musical the place it nonetheless wants to maneuver the story ahead. It nonetheless wants to maneuver the characters ahead.
So the balancing act was being like, “Okay, every moment of this story needs to reveal another facet of these characters.” So I felt just like the romance was necessary, however simply as necessary was these combat scenes the place we get much more of their character revealed, simply as necessary was the moments the place they’re assembly one another and making assumptions about one another. So approaching it like each single second of this film must ahead the story and the character made it simpler to stability the romance that’s threaded by, but it surely’s not going to overpower the motion, which is basically enjoyable, however that’s not going to overpower the character work, you recognize?
I actually favored what you probably did with Brainiac 5. We see that even on this futuristic society, there’s prejudice and it’s not above judging others on account of issues outdoors their management. You should utilize Brainiac 5 as a personality in order that when folks see Brainiac, they suppose “villainous” — identical to the characters within the film. What did you discover most attention-grabbing about enjoying with viewer expectations in that approach?
Enjoying off viewer expectations is a large a part of this. Every little thing from what all people assumes the villains are to that very first scene the place we’re seeing the destruction of Krypton from Supergirl’s standpoint relatively than Superman’s.
So a few of that comes together with the theme of discovering that place the place you belong as a result of, you recognize, on the Supergirl stage, she had a spot the place she thought she belonged. She thought that she had her life deliberate out. Krypton blew up, and all of that blew up as nicely. However when you get to the thirty first century and the Legionnaires … the Legion Academy youngsters all have these very bizarre, very totally different powers. It’s what makes Legion enjoyable, but it surely is also what makes Legion bizarre, is that each one of their powers aren’t issues that you’d usually consider as being a useful superhero energy. A lot like Supergirl, they do really feel like freaks, like fish out of water, like they don’t belong right here.
Then to play with that, I believe the unfairness facet is available in as a result of if you end up totally different from different folks in your society or different folks in your space … I believe one of the vital evil issues on the planet is those that prey on these variations or inform people who find themselves totally different, “You’re bad because of it. You should all be the same, you should all be like us.” So having the plot be not simply [about] discovering the place to belong, however being totally different and discovering a spot to belong versus the unhealthy guys, who’re mainly the literal embodiment of being the identical, it’s mainly being a person versus being a part of this faceless entire that basically pursuits me and is, I believe, the idea of lots of what prejudice is, which is, “How dare you be different from us? How dare you not fit in with us?” So to have a gaggle like Legion be like, “Not only do we not fit in with you, that’s our strength,” I believe is a good way to speak about it.
From a author’s perspective, particularly within the final half of this film, there are some nice scenes, nice motion, and the movie seems beautiful. While you see the ultimate product and it seems this nice, how fulfilling is it seeing these scenes you wrote actually come to life and so magnificently?
Oh, it’s so thrilling and rewarding. Truthfully, the very best a part of working in animation is … I’ve an concept in my head of what these appear to be. I write it down, I discuss a bit bit to the folks making it, however then they bring about their very own artistry and their very own concepts into this and make it a lot larger and so a lot better than I may have ever imagined it.
Jeff [Wamester, director] and Butch [Lukic, supervising producer] and their staff did such an unbelievable job. Watching it for the primary time, I forgot that I wrote it. I used to be like, “Oh, this is really great! Oh, this is fun! Oh man, I’d love to write more now that I’ve seen this!” They simply did a stellar job.
I assumed this model of Mon-El was so attention-grabbing, particularly his admiration for Superman. There have been so many various variations of that character. Are you able to communicate to your method of dealing with him?
Mon-El is a bit bit like how I used to be approaching all the pieces, which is [that] he’s such a longtime character for comedian ebook followers. He was within the Supergirl live-action TV present. Form of like all the pieces I used to be doing this film, I wished it to be acquainted, however then put a bit twist on it — make it a bit totally different than you’ve ever seen him earlier than.
So utilizing that admiration as a touchpoint for him … it was enjoyable as a result of he begins off because the Mon-El you suppose you recognize, after which there’s a twist with him and also you understand that that admiration masks one thing else … making him a lot extra multifaceted and a lot totally different than I believe individuals are anticipating … that was simply a lot enjoyable and par for the course of all the pieces that I used to be making an attempt to do, which is like, “Here are these comic touchpoints that you think you know, and then here’s the little switch that makes them a little bit new.”