When it came to doing the screenplay for ‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,’ long time DCAU veteran Stan Berkowitz admits it wasn’t too difficult a job.
“Compared to other writers, I think Jeph Loeb intended this to be like a movie,” says Berkowitz. “It was fairly easy to adapt in a screenplay. The big difference is the original comic was a six-parter. That meant there were five cliffhangers. That structure had to be changed a little bit because you don’t have four cliffhangers in a screenplay form. You have a three-act structure. So I had to change that a little bit. Otherwise, it was pretty easy to deal with.”
Kevin Conroy is another one of those people who you don’t notice what good work he does until he leaves the room,” says Berkowitz. “When he’s in there, you take him for granted. Yet I remember there was one episode of ‘Batman Beyond’ when he wasn’t there. That’s when I realized that all the actors took their cues from him in terms of what the tone of the show should be. When he’s not there, they are just all over the board. When he is there, they just follow his lead.”
Still, a room with Clancy, Conroy and Daly means there’s three lead dogs in the house. That leads to the question of who will be the leader of the pack.
“Everyone’s seen movies where there are 2-3 strong leading men in the film. They somehow all figure out how to work together. I’m sure Kevin would say that it’s a cooperative effort. He might also say it was Clancy. He had more lines.”
At the same time, one gets the feeling the person driving that team was the ever-incredible Andrea Romano.
“You know, the voice sessions really brought back to me the pleasure of being in the business,” Berkowitz said. “Andrea Romano, in a certain way, reminds me of Alan. In a sense, you don’t get the sense that she’s doing a lot. Yet when she’s not there, it’s just terrible. That’s when you realize how important she is. A large majority of the stuff I’ve worked on has been conducted by Andrea. I’ve gotten kind of spoiled. Normally she works very quietly, very subtly. She doesn’t call a lot of attention to herself but she does great work.”
In the meantime, Berkowitz is now hard at work on his next project, the adaptation of the Indian comic book The 99 into an animated series.
“It’s being done for a company in England called Endemol,” Berkowitz plugs. “It is based on a comic book created by a man named Naif Al-Matawa. The origin story is available, for free, on the ‘net at www.the99.org.
“It’s a group of international kids from a number of countries. I think by the end of episode #26, we will have 16 of them. Eventually it will be 99 kids. Each of them has a different superpower. It’s animated. They don’t have distribution in the U.S. yet.
“I’ve been really happy working on it. Alan Burnett is one of the writers. Henry Gilroy and Steve Melching from ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ have also written scripts. Charlotte Fullerton, Marty Isenberg, Randy Rogel, who wrote some of the earliest Batman scripts, all are working on this. There are others I haven’t named and I apologize for that. It’s working with good people all around. I think the scripts have turned out very well. The animation is looking pretty good, too. It’s being done over in England. Dave Osborne and Peter Griffiths are working on that. Naif is the executive producer.”
From the looks of things, it won't be surprising if this turns into Berkowitz’s next hit project, either.