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From the July 16, 2002 Issue of Comics Continuum.

PASADENA, Calif. -- The cast and executive producers of the upcoming Birds of Prey television series met with the press over the weekend at The WB's 2002 TCA Press Tour.

Attending were Dina Meyer (Barbara Gordon/Oracle), Ashley Scott (Helena Kyle/The Huntress), Rachel Skarsten (Dinah Lance/Black Canary) and Shemar Moore (Det. Jake Reese) and executive producers Laeta Kalogridis and Brian Robbins.

Following is an edited transcript of the question-and-answer session:

QUESTION: Brian, could you talk a little bit -- with taking the Superman story to television, you automatically had a lot of people who knew Superman and Smallville and that type of thing, but in this case you're basing this on a comic book that's somewhat obscure; it's not as well-known. Does that create any specific problems or no problems or --

BRIAN ROBBINS: Sort of the best of both worlds because you have a huge franchise in the Batman franchise like you have in the Superman franchise, but yet you have something that is not as well-known, so you sort of get to play with the mythology even more and educate people on it. But the Batman world is such a great world to explore. We are going to do that.

QUESTION: Brian, did it take getting Smallville on the air and seeing how much audiences might accept getting into the psychology of Superman to go psychologically darker with something like this?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Oh, sure. I mean, that definitely had something to do with it. The success of Smallville certainly paved the way for Birds of Prey. But this is a different show, it's a different world, and I think audiences will see the show much differently than Smallville; but yes, Smallville paved the way.

QUESTION: In that sense, I'm sure The WB will sell this as being from the producers of Smallville and of course you have the nice sunny Kansas climate there and clearly this is so much darker. Any concerns there?

BRIAN ROBBINS: No. I mean, that's what's great about it. We're not doing the same show. I mean, if we were doing the same show, that would be boring, right? So we have a much different landscape, which in a lot of ways is cooler and more fun. And the truth is before we wanted to do Smallville we wanted to do a show set in the Gotham world, and Smallville just happened first, so...

QUESTION: How much is the show influenced by the comic Frank Miller's sort of vision of Batman and that whole world?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Big time. I mean, from a visual standpoint, we sat down and we looked at those books and, you know, when Leata was writing the script and we were visualizing the show, that's all we did, was look at those comic books and the DP and myself and production leader sat down and said we really want this show to look like comic book, and I spent several months with a story-board artist drawing the show, and the show looks like the drawings. It really does.

QUESTION: I have a question for Ashley Scott. How are you merging the characters of Batman and Catwoman? What characteristics are you taking from each character to create?

ASHLEY SCOTT: A lot of Catwoman's, I think, just kind of -- her kind of catty style and wit, and with the style of fighting we're going to make it more cat-like, yeah. And Batman, whatever I can take from him.

QUESTION: This question is for Rachel, Ashley, and Dina. Given the popularity of male superheroes right now, what makes your female superheroes rock? What's the separation?

DINA MEYER: This is for both of us?

ASHLEY SCOTT: It's for all of us.

DINA MEYER: Oh, I thought you said Rachel and Dina. What makes us different?

QUESTION: Different and what makes you special?

DINA MEYER: Well, I'm in a wheelchair, so that's one thing that makes me a little different. I mean...

RACHEL SKARSTEN: We're all individuals in the show, even though we're an ensemble, which I think is great, and you see the development of all our characters and our chemistry together. And I think, you know, we play off each other and, you know, it's going to be great for young girls to be able to have these role models, these superwomen, and watch them go through life and relate to them.

DINA MEYER: I found what's super about my character -- I'm just going to answer for myself right now -- is that, you know, being a superhero or being Batgirl, being known as Batgirl, and then, you know, being shot and paralyzed and now confined to a wheelchair, you would think maybe someone like Batgirl would have given up. It's like, "I have no legs so I can't kick ass anymore. What am I going to do? How am I going to fight crime?" And she found a way to master cybernetics and weaponry and she really, you know, came into her own. She wasn't following in Batman's footsteps, she actually found her own calling and she has redefined herself as Oracle, which I think is, you know, fantastic, personally, and together with the help of these two fantastic females.

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: I think sort of in a global sort of way, like about the whole show and not the individual characters, there's also kind of -- which is what drew me to the material and I think drew Brian to it as well -- there's a lot of exploration being done on television and in movies of the way in which boys become men, men become superheroes. There's a lot of exploration of that. And this, you know, outside of Buffy hasn't really been explored, and it was an opportunity to do that within a franchise that was so firmly identified as -- you know, as having female superheroes that people recognized and knew about. I mean, Batgirl is kind of an icon, but she just had not had her own time to be explored. And it gave us an opportunity to do that, which was really, frankly, too good to resist.

QUESTION: For the producers, apparently some of the real heavy-duty Batman fans are all clenched up over the fact that he's blowing town and they say Batman would never, ever do that.

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: Oh, no, no, no. Let's be really specific about what they're upset about. And by the way, they have every right to be upset, in my opinion. Accidentally somehow on some Web site somewhere the word "flee" got into why Batman left Gotham. And as a Batman fan, they should be upset. Batman does not flee anywhere. So the wording is incorrect. The idea that he went into a self-imposed exile after this one night where these awful things happen, like everything else in the show, it's actually taken from an existing comic in the DC universe. We took the idea from The Dark Knight, you know, a very famous Frank Miller comic cycle that there would be a period where Batman would say, "I've had enough. I'm going to walk away from this for a little while. I'm going to remove myself." And you don't know exactly why he's gone in the sense that he could be pursuing Joker for what happened that night. He could be -- he could be doing any number of things. But the important part is that the trauma of what happened on that night changed everything in New Gotham. It changed all the characters' lives. It changed Batman's life. And he didn't run away. I mean, he went into this self-imposed exile for the same reason that they became superheroes: because things change. And this is an evolution in New Gotham. The best storytelling in comic books, the very best gothic novels like Dark Knight are about how the characters never stay the same.

QUESTION: Okay. So he's brooding somewhere. Is he going to come back?

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: He might be brooding or he might be pursuing. I mean, he may very well be having a breather. I think we haven't really made a decision about that. He could very well be looking for the Joker or something.

QUESTION: Well, he could be a recurring character in this series or -- you haven't figured that out yet?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Probably not. He's getting ready for the Batman/Superman movie.


LEATA KALOGRIDIS: He's unavailable.

DINA MEYER: He's unavailable. He has a conflict.

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: We're very interested in moving forward anyway and exploring sort of the next generation of superheroes in New Gotham. That's kind of our mission statement.

QUESTION: To follow up, whereas Smallville is really all about sort of avoiding the established Superman mythos or at least hinting at it with a wink, this really embraces all these different aspects you mentioned, Frank Miller, there's a little Brian Bolland in there, you've obviously really immersed yourself. In addition to the Batman question -- well, for example, will Dinah become Black Canary and is Harley Quinn going to be the character that we've seen?

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: Okay. That would be telling, but --

QUESTION: This would be asking.


LEATA KALOGRIDIS: I know. I'm saying what's the point of the show if, you know, we talk about everything that's going to happen before it does. Harley is Harley. I mean, Harley is who she is. She's the Batman animated-series character, so she's definitely going to go on and try to fill her Puddin's shoes. For those of you who don't watch that show, that's what she always called the Joker. And Dinah is something of a mystery, I hope, to the audience and that's intentional. So I don't really want to answer the question.

QUESTION: And nor should you. I just --


QUESTION: Are you making a casting change on Harley Quinn?


QUESTION: Why? And do you know who the actress will be?

BRIAN ROBBINS: We don't know, and mostly because it -- Sherelynn isn't really available to do the series and we -- we didn't know. You know, when we did the pilot it was sort of like we saw it as a character that could recur, but then obviously after it was put together, we were like, hmm, this is an essential part of the show.

QUESTION: So will you reshoot the pilot?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Just those scenes. Just those few scenes.

QUESTION: I wanted to continue that question about embracing the superhero mythos rather than keeping it at arms length the way Smallville does, right down the middle. Is there any concern there? Because it does seem like part of Smallville's allure is that they do kind of keep the tights and the traditional vision of this hero going out and flying around at bay, and that's what gives that series kind of the sense that they're doing something new. How do you sort of embrace the costumes -- you know, we see flashbacks where Batgirl is in costume and things like that -- and still keep it fresh?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Well, really in the same way. I mean, you're not going to see a whole lot of tights in this show. In the pilot you saw the flashbacks of Batgirl. That was the past. That's who she was. And now we're moving forward and this is, you know, the evolution of these superheroes and they're sort of your modern superheroes. They don't wear masks and they don't wear tights, but they fight crime in their own way.

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: And I think part of it is also a reaction to the past and what New Gotham was, that they do dress differently and look differently. And Oracle in the comic book doesn't wear a mask.

QUESTION: I'm not talking about the costumes. I'm talking about the idea of sort of embracing the traditional elements of a superhero story as opposed to holding them at bay. And how do you do that, I guess, without looking silly or going over the top of it? Do you know what I mean?

LEATA KALOGRIDIS: I don't know if we'll end up looking silly. I hope not. But I think that we're sort of -- at least I am -- more interested in kind of going out there and giving them my best shot and trying to realize the way we saw it, which was including a lot of those mythological elements that might -- you know, that might seem kind of challenging [signaling] to do. And then if we fall on our faces, we realized the vision that we had. I mean, that's really how I feel about it.

BRIAN ROBBINS: It's really about dealing with the characters as real people in the same way we do on Smallville. So it's not dealing with sort of the superhero element or the super powers and the crimes and the villains. Like Smallville, this show is about real people who have real problems --

DINA MEYER: Relationships. It's like the super-human qualities. It's just about, you know, girls kicking butt and fighting crime in Gotham. And, you know, whereas we are superheroes, we also have relationships. And we also have to figure out how we're going to get on, and we're going to have a certain kind of relationship.

RACHEL SKARSTEN: And at the end of the day, that's why people watch shows.

DINA MEYER: You want to relate to them as people, as real people. I think that's what people are going to find interesting about this show, because we're not just going to be, you know, "I'm Superman. I'm Super Woman. I'm fighting crime and evil, and watch me go. I'm flying away." It's not that. It's a little bit of that, or I don't know how much of that, but a certain amount of that. But on top of that, what's going to make our show different is the fact that we're going to really be interactive with one another as humans or metahumans or whatever the hell we are.

QUESTION: For the cast, really quickly, can you discuss the challenges involved in bringing a comic-book character to life? And were you familiar with the book at all prior to your involvement?

DINA MEYER: I've done some. As you know -- like Oracle -- I'm quite the cyber geek. I've done a bunch of research on-line, you know, trying to find it because I'm not a comic-book geek. So I didn't really have whole lot of knowledge as to what, you know, the character was about and the history. I knew she was Batgirl, but what else? I didn't really know. So I've done some research on-line, and I found that -- I mean, aside from the enormous fan base, I mean, there's quite a bit of expectation -- high expectation. I've noticed that Oracle is a favorite character and so -- not the favorite, a favorite character. And I just hope that I can do her justice and not let the fans down because I really don't want to do that.

ASHLEY SCOTT: No, we don't want the rap.

DINA MEYER: We look at message boards and stuff. And it's like people, they're already talking, you know, whether it's good or bad. They're saying things, and they haven't even seen the show. Maybe they got, you know, caught wind of what was written in a line. And you know, for instance, the fleeing -- the fact that Batman -- "Batman, the Dark Knight, doesn't flee." Okay. Sorry. It was the wrong word. You know, and it's like, just give the show a chance because it's going to be really awesome.

QUESTION: Shemar, how much does your character know about these three women, and how does he come upon finding out who they are?

SHEMAR MOORE: How much does my character know about these two? In the beginning, nothing. I think I'm just one of many of Gotham. What's wonderful about this story -- I mean, as they've talked about it, it's Gotham somewhat in the future. And Batman and Joker are a myth. They don't really exist with, you know, the people of Gotham. And I represent just Joe Public. I'm just a regular dude, and we don't realize this has happened, that these girls exist and can do what they can do. You know, we've heard ideas of Batman, you know, that we've heard of that interesting man at the top of the hill in that big castle, kind of eccentric-type castle. We never knew anything about him. And supposedly there's Batman, Joker, and Batgirl, and all these things, but that's all just a myth. And so I don't realize these girls can do what they do, but somebody's out there doing my job better than me, and I need to figure out what the hell is going on. And I run into these divas that are jumping from roof top to roof top, you know what I mean? So it makes you just kind of go, "Okay. What's going on?"

ASHLEY SCOTT: Taunting you to chase us.

SHEMAR MOORE: You know, I'm a man's man, so I'm going to chase them. When they look like this, you're going to have a chase.


SHEMAR MOORE: I mean, hey, I'm going to keep it real. That's why I took this gig. You know, I'm not going to sit here, "This is great for my career, and you know" -- hey, look right here. There's three -- you know. You know, that's what's great about it is we're not going to tell the story that the public, and especially these comic book fans, that they already know. We're going to take the premise of what they know. We're going to flip. And what's nice is you're going to get this human quality, and you're going to get to understand these three divas as --


(Brian Robbins' son comes out in a Batman costume)


SHEMAR MOORE: Here comes Batman.


DINA MEYER: Did you find the Joker?


DINA MEYER: Did you find him?


DINA MEYER: What about Catwoman?


QUESTION: Ashley, since you'rw the one that's jumping on the roofs and flying up and down, is it hard doing the stunts, and also since you come off of Dark Angel where Jessica Alba's character also did that, you know, jumping off roofs and being able to climb up buildings, did you learn anything watching when -- the couple episodes that you were on Dark Angel?

ASHLEY SCOTT: I learned she works very hard and a lot of long hours. Yeah, there's a lot of when you're doing that kind of physical action, you know, things, you have to -- you know, where you're not working in, you know, running your dialogue, you're training for the next show. It's a great deal of work. But I've been fortunate for this project to have learned, you know, Tai Kwan Do and learning gymnastics, and I have a trainer. And I'm really trying to kind of prepare before we really get going, so it hopefully will come a little bit easier.

QUESTION: So you're doing your own stunts?

ASHLEY SCOTT: Not all of them. Not all of them, but I do as much as I can. You know, right now I'm working on the back handspring.

BRIAN ROBBINS: She did a lot. You did a lot of your own for the pilot.

ASHLEY SCOTT: Yeah, I did a lot of fight sequences and things like that. I wasn't the one going through the glass unfortunately or fortunately. But I want to do as much as I can, legally as much as I can. I like to get my hands dirty, so, yeah, hopefully back handsprings will come.

DINA MEYER: We can't have her any break any limbs.

QUESTION: Rachel, it says in your bio here that you were sort of discovered singing a song to your dad at a birthday party or something. Can you expound upon that story a little bit? Tell us a little bit more details, what you were singing and all that? And also was acting part of --

ASHLEY SCOTT: Can you sing?

RACHEL SKARSTEN: Sure, guys, let's go.

QUESTION: Sing us a few notes. Was acting part of the plan or was this an accident?

RACHEL SKARSTEN: No, acting was never part of the plan. I had my whole life planned, and acting was just sort of just one of those wonderful surprises that comes up along the road. I was actually singing a memorial to my father, who died of cancer when I was nine. And an agent saw the show and asked if I would like to go in and audition. And I didn't have enough money for a portfolio, and she said, "You know what? That's fine. Just go." And I went, and it was a Honeycomb commercial, and I ended up getting the part. And you know, I thought it was pretty cool, so I kept doing it sporadically, and here I am. So yeah.

QUESTION: For the creative staff, how arced is the show and how -- versus how stand-alone are the episodes? And also in the clip you have the Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman and Catwoman. Is the series going to refer specifically back to that series of films at all?

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: Well, it's -- in terms of how it's arced out -- oh, wait a minute. You know what? Let's do the second one first. Because Helena, the character is -- Huntress, the character is the daughter of Catwoman and Batman, I mean, we'll refer to the effect that they had on her. I mean, that's pretty much where the reference of those characters comes in is, as parents, what -- having that parent engine and having the intersection with those parents that she had means to her as a character. That's really sort of the extent. I mean, that footage is movie footage. It's not footage from our pilot, so -- and I'm completely blanking on -- ask me the first half of the question again.

QUESTION: How arced is your series versus how stand-alone?

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: In terms of the self-contained issue, yeah. Sorry. I'm not sleeping much these days. It's -- it's kind of, for the most part, I think what we're trying for is that anybody tuning into the show won't feel lost when they turn it on. So that even though we are going to have arcs that are continuing throughout the story, and, you know, Harley will be developing a certain way and her plan will be developing a certain way. And the girls will be developing their relationships with each. The show individually will have self-contained enough stories that you can flip it on and not feel like you're removed from what's happening.

BRIAN ROBBINS: The "A" stories will be stand-alone stories but there definitely will be continuing arc stuff.

QUESTION: This is for Laeta and Brian. What specific elements did you want to keep from the comic? And what elements did you think you couldn't translate to the screen?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Well, the biggest thing was -- for me -- was the visual style. We really wanted the show to look like the Frank Miller comics. And I think we did that for the most part. And the hope is to keep that look going through the series because I think that's a big part of saving the world.

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: Well, the biggest change that we made from the comics, anyone who reads them knows that Huntress is kind of a day player in the comics Birds of Prey. She shows up every so often, and she's not a regular. It's pretty much Black Canary and Oracle. And honestly, what happened was that I had always been very enamored of the character of Huntress from the pre-Crisis DC. I mean, there was this -- I won't explain it, but there was this thing called a Crisis. And Huntress is different character after than she was before. I always liked the one before and always really wanted to explore that character and always wanted to see her explored on television or in a movie. And so this was an opportunity to do that and give her the same kind of interaction with Oracle that Black Canary had. As soon as I chose to do that, then we decided that using Black Canary as that character wouldn't really work because you wanted the partnership. So that was how the change came about.

QUESTION: -- what villains are you going to bring into the series other than the one that you've established in the pilot? You've got to be able to mention just a couple.

BRIAN ROBBINS: Well, I think one of the more fun things we're going to explore is what about all the sons and daughters of those Batman villains that are locked up in Arkham Asylum. The sons and daughters that are out there with that same evil blood running through them. I think we'll be exploring those characters.

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: I think we want to take the opportunity to do a combination of villains that people maybe have seen or heard of and villains that they haven't, that have some connection to the mythology, like what Brian's talking about, but may not be somebody that everybody's familiar with.

QUESTION: Ms. Scott, how that's costume working out for you?

ASHLEY SCOTT: It's very tight.

DINA MEYER: This one or this one?

ASHLEY SCOTT: Yeah, which costume?

QUESTION: Sorry. Your Huntress costume.

ASHLEY SCOTT: Yes, actually. Yeah, it was kind of uncomfortable and not the easiest thing to fight in. But I think we're making some much-needed costume changes. Right?

BRIAN ROBBINS: But it looks good.

ASHLEY SCOTT: Oh, it looks great. Let me tell you, I mean, I -- you know, obviously it was a lot of costume. But --


ASHLEY SCOTT: Now, I think we're going to make it more, you know, a little bit more street -- you know, street clothing, jeans and boots and just something more logical to fight in because I -- you know, a bustier is not -- you know, things fall out. Things fall out on TV.


ASHLEY SCOTT: Not on family television.

DINA MEYER: Showtime.

BRIAN ROBBINS: Not for the television.

QUESTION: There's already been some discussion in the room about the intensity of the fans of the comic books and fantasy fans generally. Are any of you assessing the possibility of doing conventions, comic conventions, and that sort of thing in the future? And how do you feel about that?

DINA MEYER: Sure. Absolutely. Why not? I think it's great. I mean, that's going to keep us on the air, the fans. And it's like if seeing the fans and meeting the fans and doing those conventions are going to make them watch them --

ASHLEY SCOTT: They can teach us a few things too, I think. I wouldn't mind going to --

DINA MEYER: Chat with them a little bit, find out their views. Yeah, that's all part of the fun.

QUESTION: This is going back to a few questions previous when you were talking about the human element of these characters. And part of the appeal of Batman and Catwoman was even though they were superheros, or Catwoman more ambiguous, they didn't have super powers. And I was kind of wondering why you went with Huntress? She had that whole cat vision.

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: Actually, what we decided to do -- again, back to the sort of comic familiarity thing -- there have been a number of origin stories for Catwoman within the DC universe, several actually. And none of them agree. And one of the things that we thought was fun to explore was the idea that she might not have been human. She might have been what they call metahuman. You know, in the DC Universe there's humans and metahumans. And it's pretty clear in (Tim) Burton's movie that she she's not normal. I mean, she dies. She falls out of the window. She dies. The cats come. I mean, she's not right. And it's obvious to us that she does not come back as being entirely human. So what I wanted to do was use that origin story and experiment with the idea that, therefore, the daughter of Catwoman and Batman is going to be a metahuman, half human, half metahuman like her mother. So Dad's human, but Mom was not. That's reason you see the physiological difference. And yes, it is arguably a little bit of a departure, but it sort of depends on which one you're looking at.

QUESTION: For Brian, you're here with us now. Dan is going to be here this afternoon. Has The WB become like The Head Of The Class network?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Let's hope not.

QUESTION: It would be nice to see Howard Hessman as a villain.

BRIAN ROBBINS: Although, I do hear Robin Givens has a show in development.


QUESTION: I have a question for Shemar. I know one of the recurring themes in the show is people going from under the shadow of their parents. And I believe I read on your web site something about Detective Reese's father was a bad guy in Gotham, something like that?

SHEMAR MOORE: Yeah, that's what I'm very excited about. I mean, as the girls were talking about, you're not just seeing them kicking butt, you're seeing them being real people too. And as far as my character from speaking to Laeta early on, even through the audition process is what got me very excited is I have this whole back-story dark side. My father is supposed to be this notorious crime lord. So I've got this two-edge sword that I'm dealing with, and I'm the one who's kind of strayed from the nest, you know, to rebel against the family, chose to be a detective, because I want to do right, because I'm seeing all the wrong in the world, and most of it is happening in my house. But the struggle I come against, and one of the divas here, Ashley's character, is going to help me realize is I'm trying to do a good thing, but I'm compelled to be loyal to my family because it's my family. But at the same time, they're the ones who are doing wrong, so as much as I would like Ashley to fight crime and do the right thing, don't bring down my family because that's my family. So it's interesting just for me to have that dark side, that back-story to come from. It just gives me -- it gives me a different kind of persona. So I'm not just a cop asking cop questions. I'm a man who's dealing with his own turmoil trying to do right, but I've got to deal.

QUESTION: Shemar, to piggyback on that, then, you've been in daytime so long and then you were making a foray into feature films. How exciting is this for you to have such a diverse character that obviously has so much depth that I'm hoping we're going to get into? And are you considering at all making any forays back to daytime just because your fans probably want to know?

SHEMAR MOORE: You know, there's not a grandma on the planet that hasn't come up to me in an airport or a grocery store and said, "Baby, you went and died in Africa, but you look pretty alive in front of me right here. Now, they didn't tell me that you can't swim. Now just swim your ass back to General City."


SHEMAR MOORE: "Because your brother's an alcoholic. You got a child that needs a daddy. Now, come on, Boy."


SHEMAR MOORE: So grandmas will make your life a little hard, you know what I mean? Man, I'm telling you, I can't get through security at the airport, but it's all right. So if I have it my way, I don't believe in going back. You know what I mean? I'll constantly want to grow. I want to grow as a person. I want to grow as an actor, so if I go back to Young -- I mean never say "never," but I have no intentions of going back to daytime. It was a fun ride under the source. I say it all the time, I was born and raised on that show. Without Young and the Restless, without daytime, I wouldn't be sitting here. I wouldn't be the host of Soul Train. I wouldn't have been in Brothers. I wouldn't have given Susan Lucci a -- you want my whole resume? I mean, I can break it down. But I'm saying -- but, no, I mean I definitely -- I've had a very blessed career in eight, nine years. And, you know, I'm excited as an actor to see what I'm capable of doing. I had a lot of fun doing the feature thing. Hopefully there will be more of that to come, but here I have a wonderful chance to be on a wonderful show and a wonderful network and get some primetime stripes. You know, I'm just earning my stripes as an actor. So you know, never say "never," but I like to grow.

DINA MEYER: I thought you were in it for us?

SHEMAR MOORE: You know, I said it in the other room. I was like, you know, I could sit here and tell you about all the career moves and why, you know, why it's going to help me follow in Denzel's footsteps, but I have three reasons that I'm really not complaining. You know what I mean? So, you know, this is a really wonderful opportunity, and I know it. So I'm just like a little kid in a candy store.

QUESTION: For the producers, if we get back a little bit to the Smallville thing, a lot of executives at The WB made a point last year of not letting anyone know, that didn't already know, that this guy was Superboy. And they credited some of the audience build because people just saw it as sort of a teenage angst show, how to -- growing up. You're talking about taking a hard core comic book, flipping it around and making it a relationship show. Aren't you afraid maybe you're going to lose the base audience that you have, and because it's a hard core comic book not bring in people who might otherwise be interested?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Well, I think the hope is to do both and do both well. I mean, just because we're going to deal with relationships doesn't mean we're going to disappoint the comic-book fan.

DINA MEYER: It's not one or the other. It's kind of --

BRIAN ROBBINS: In the same way that Smallville I think flipped the mythology and had a new spin on it and still satisfied the comic book fan, but yet, when you break that down, it is really about relationships at heart. And this show will do the same thing.

QUESTION: Do you think that the comic-book fan base is big enough to sustain a TV show?

BRIAN ROBBINS: No, but I don't think we're counting on that. What's great is that we're lucky enough to have such a rich world as this DC-Batman-Gotham world to create a show in, which is a great place to start a television show. And for us it's about making a TV show. It's not really about satisfying comic book fans, although we hope to satisfy them.

QUESTION: Ashley, you found yourself auditioning with Al Pacino. How did that happen and what was that like?

ASHLEY SCOTT: I have no idea. I sat down at this table three weeks later after reading for this part with Al Pacino and the director. It was my first experience with any of this stuff, and I just kept thinking, "Who invited me to this party? You know, what did I do? What have I done to deserve this?" Yeah, it was great. He was super, super kind. And we just read over the script and talked about the project. And it was -- it was pretty, pretty cool.

QUESTION: Were you scared?

ASHLEY SCOTT: Was I scared? I was more -- I'm dyslexic, so I was more frightened about reading in front of someone whether it be Al Pacino or, you know, anybody. I was more paranoid about that, but, you know, it was cool. It was just like sitting down with regular old people. But he's pretty magical. He's pretty spectacular.

QUESTION: For the producers, can you preview the next generation of villains? Can you tell us which villains, descendents we might see? Any names? Mr. Freeze? The Riddler?

BRIAN ROBBINS: You're killing her.

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: You are. You're hurting me here. I'm just about to get up on my chair because Shemar put that on his web site. I'm like "Oh, my God" because it's so much more fun to me, as a viewer, and that's why I do this. I love, as a viewer, to not know what's coming. And that's why I hate to broadcast what's coming before, and it's not necessarily that it's meant to be a big surprise exactly. It's just that it makes the ride more fun and more spontaneous. I never even read spoilers. I hate them, you know?

QUESTION: Would the plan be then to have name stars, like on the old Batman show, come in and play these characters and come back over and over? Or no?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Maybe. I mean, if it makes sense. I think the most important thing is just to make sure that when we do those known villains, we do them well. We do them smart. And we spin the mythology and keep spinning it so it seems fresh, and you don't feel like you're watching, you know, the old Batman show.

LAETA KALOGRIDIS: And you don't assume that, like, say if you did see the son of Mr. Freeze, that he would necessarily be "Mini Freeze" if you know what I'm saying.


LAETA KALOGRIDIS: Exactly. I mean, that's one of the most interesting things about what we wanted to do with Shemar's character is that the apple sometimes falls very far from the tree.

QUESTION: Starting with Brian, your favorite comic-book hero as a kid when you were reading comic books?

BRIAN ROBBINS: Well, you saw my son walk out here, so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so there you have it.


LAETA KALOGRIDIS: It's a toss-up between Wolverine and Huntress.

DINA MEYER: I really didn't have one. I liked Barbie.


ASHLEY SCOTT: The Incredible Hulk.

RACHEL SKARSTEN: I read Archie, but, you know, so that was kind of cool. But actually it's going to sound like I'm just saying this, but I did watch the live-action television series of Batman, so there you go.

SHEMAR MOORE: I wasn't a big comic-book fan, but I watched a lot of Scoobie Doo, and Electric Company had -- they had the Spider-Man series on Electric Company, so that's about as close --

DINA MEYER: They had a Electrowoman and Dynagirl but that wasn't -- I don't know that you'd call a superhero. You know that one.

SHEMAR MOORE: I watched Wonder Woman.

DINA MEYER: She is hot.

SHEMAR MOORE: She was hot when she spun around.