Phil Morris Q&A -- Justice League: Doom
Press release from Warner Home Video:
It’s a busy time for Phil Morris.
Easily recognizable to sitcom viewers as the hilariously slimy lawyer Jackie Chiles on Seinfeld, and renowned throughout the fanboy realm as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter on Smallville, Morris is splitting his time this February celebrating his latest triumphs.
Morris is a NAACP Image Award nominee in the category of Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for Love That Girl! While he prepares for the awards ceremony and all of its requisite celebrity gatherings, Morris is also making time to attend both the New York (2/13) and Los Angeles (2/16) premieres of Justice League: Doom.
The consummate nice guy, Morris shifts to a darker, villainous approach for Justice League: Doom as he reprises his Justice League animated television series role as the immortal Vandal Savage. Morris is one of nine actors returning to the booth to record their original roles.
Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated Justice League: Doom arrives February 28, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. Both the Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and DVD will include an UltraViolet™ Digital Copy.
Justice League: Doom finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains – orchestrated by Vandal Savage – discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded “JLA: Tower of Babel,” and scripted by the late Dwayne McDuffie.
Morris is more than just an actor with a tendency to perform in fanboy-centric productions – he is a devout fan of the genre and its comic book origins. His comics collection exceeds 20,000 and includes gems like a 1948 “Captain America,” issues 1-18 of “Silver Surfer,” the first 20 Barry Windsor-Smith issues of “Conan,” and many of the original run of the “Fantastic Four.” “It goes back pretty far,’ Morris says. “I collect to this day.”
Prepping for the onslaught of reporters’ queries on the red carpets on both coasts prior to the premieres of Justice League: Doom, Morris welcomed the opportunity to answer a few questions about Vandal Savage, comics collecting, and the possibility of someday voicing his Smallville character Martian Manhunter in an animated form. Read on…
What’s the mindset of Vandal Savage, and what’s been the joy of playing this role?
Vandal Savage is an immortal who has been around the human species for all time. He’s extremely intelligent – he’s incredibly evolved because of contact with a meteor that landed in his village. And he’s always trying to overthrow the world. His vision is that the world should be his, as many of these despots feel. But he feels that because he’s lived so long, he’s entitled.
I love Vandal. I played Vandal for the Justice League series a few times, but this is a little bit of a different take on Vandal. Back on the series, he was more of a smooth criminal – he was more nuanced, he had more style. Now, I guess, he’s just had it. He’s kind of approaching things as if to say “I don’t have time to play with you.” He has no more guile left in him. He’s straight, no chaser, which makes him much more dangerous, much more evil, and much harder edged, especially in my vocal performance.
And I love this script. Dwayne (McDuffie) really made it a walloping good romp for the Justice League players. And then Vandal is a bit like the Lex Luthor of the show – it’s his mastermind, his ideas, his design that almost or does bring the world to its doom. You’ll have to watch to see. Vandal is very much the thrust of the evil of this show. That’s fun to play.
What’s it like for you to be recording with all these original voices from the series again?