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To date, Warner Bros. has released more than 40 animated movies based on its DC Comics superheroes, ranging from alternate universe takes on Batman to Justice League team-ups to direct adaptations of classic comic book storylines, but in all those films the Justice Society of America has yet to have their chance to shine. That changes next month with the arrival of the period superhero thriller Justice Society: World War II, and we've got an exclusive, action-packed clip to get you ready for it.
Directed by Jeff Wamester (who worked on Marvel animated hits like Guardians of the Galaxy before joining Warner Bros. to work on films like Batman: Soul of the Dragon) from a script by Meghan Fitzmartin and Jeremy Adams (both of whom worked on Supernatural before shifting to DC projects), the film follows the title superhero team as they battle through World War II, but the global conflict's not the only thing they have to deal with. The film's action is kicked off not by something that happens in our past, but by something that happens in the Justice Society's future, when present-day Flash Barry Allen (voiced by Matt Bomer) runs so fast that he encounters the Speed Force for the first time and runs into the World War II era.
“The Flash really is a fish out of water in this story," Bomer told SYFY WIRE when asked about the dynamic of the film. "For starters, he suddenly lands in extraordinary circumstances – the middle of World War II, side-by-side with a team of super heroes, fighting Nazis and more. So he has to figure his way through that rabbit hole while also ingratiating himself to the Justice Society of America, who at first don’t know what to make of him, his mission, his motivations. For all they know, he’s a super-powered spy. Flash needs to thread some complicated needles, and quickly. In particular, he needs to gain their trust, and I think he’s able to succeed because they can see his motivations are pure, and that his powers and intelligence can complement their abilities and help in the fight for freedom.”
Once he lands in the past, Barry encounters a Justice Society led by Wonder Woman (voiced by Stana Katic), who as you'll see in the clip below, is already making her mark on the world of men by marching straight into the conflict at hand and making short work of dark forces. Check out what happens when she goes into battle against a group of Nazi tanks.
For Katic, playing Wonder Woman was a unique honor in a wide-ranging career, and playing a version of Wonder Woman who gets to lead a super-team on a global stage only added to the power of the moment.
“Wonder Woman is ingrained in our global consciousness, and she’s been an inspiring, empowering part of my life since I was a little girl," Katic said. "I’ve done a fair amount of reading and research, and I think my having a deeper understanding of the historical references of the Amazons, and Wonder Woman in particular, helped me add a level of color and flavor to this performance, and also elevated the fun of participating in this world. It gave me a chance to really immerse myself in the role, right down to the accent. She has a line of her dialogue in this film that sort of grounded her for me: ‘The hearts of humanity yearn for freedom, and I aim to help them achieve it.’ That really stood out to me. There’s so much heart and integrity in everything she does – she’s a leader, an authority, a warrior. She is powerful both physically and emotionally, and I’m truly grateful to be able to portray such an inspirational character.”
Joining Bomer's Flash and Katic's Wonder Woman for this journey as the Society fights to both save the world and get Barry Allen home is an ensemble cast of distinguished superheroes and distinguished voice actors behind the heroic characters. The cast also includes Hourman (Matthew Mercer), Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru), Hawkman (Omid Abtahi), Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor), and Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos). It's a team movie that honors each part of the ensemble, something else that drew Bomer and Katic to the project.
"I was really moved by this story – every character has a fully developed arc, their relationships are incredibly real and impactful, and each character gets the chance to shine, which can be tricky in a huge ensemble film like this," Bomer said.
Justice Society: World War II arrives on digital on-demand services April 27, and hits 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on May 11. To learn more about the film, be sure to check out its WonderCon@Home panel featuring the cast and creators, streaming Saturday at 2 p.m. EST.