The DC Animated Universe is about to get a lot nastier with their latest release, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay.
For their third R-rated feature, the gang behind recent hits like Batman & Harley Quinn and Justice League Dark gathered Amanda Waller's favorite band of bad guys forced to do good. Prepare for a bloody, funny and, at times, filthy battle against baddie Vandal Savage!
Better yet, it's voiced by a slew of stars including some of our TV favorites like Desperate Housewives alum Vanessa Williams (as Waller), How to Get Away with Murder's Billy Brown (as Bronze Tiger), former Spartacus Liam McIntrye (as Captain Boomerang), and Mr. Robot's Christian Slater.
Slater got on the horn with TV Insider to talk about reprising his role as Deadshot from Justice League Action, his love of superhero shows, and his most important critic.
I watched the movie last night and was like, 'This is violent and it's got language. I kind of love this.'
Christian Slater: Yeah, that's how I felt, too! I don't think I knew to the extent of which they were going to be pushing the envelope here. I found myself going, 'Oh geez, yeah. This is intense. They're really going all out.' It works so well in this Suicide Squad universe. They are already antiheroes. They're not necessarily going to be making the heroic choices that you might see a Batman or a Superman make. These guys are living in a different sort of world, where they don't give a f**k. They're just going right in there.
When did you get the script?
Oh God, I think it was maybe... maybe I've been working on it for a couple of years possibly. I did the G-rated Justice League Action version of Deadshot, and then I got the opportunity to come back and do this R-rated version. I loved it. I was really thrilled. I thought the story was very interesting and very unique. I thought it was humorous and fun. I loved the chemistry between these characters. I thought it was hilarious because they were driving around in this Winnebago.
And sharing the driving duties!
Yeah! While they're battling these guys that have all this high tech and incredible amounts of money, these ships that can just take out a whole city, our guys are driving around in a Winnebago. They don't have a Batmobile or hidden compartments or anything like that. They basically just have grit and raw talent and ability, and that's what they're relying on to deal with these creatures that they're having to take on.
I'm assuming, like with most animated projects, that you didn't record with the other actors?
Correct. We tend to do these things individually and when they can schedule it. It kind of works very well for something like this, because these guys are very isolated, loner characters. When you're in a recording booth doing something like this, it's how you feel, you sort of feel like you're in your own cell. In a large respect, you're talking to yourself anyway.
It's kind of cool how you have become a voice actor.
It's been an interesting process in the last few years of taking on [jobs like this]. I've always been a huge fan of animation, a huge fan of the DC universe, a huge fan of comic books. I grew up every Saturday morning watching the Justice League, I just couldn't wait. I was really into these heroic stories, so I loved doing this. I just got really into this world of animation, and started doing things for Archer and Rick and Morty, and sort of putting my name out there as somebody who would be willing to jump on board in this kind of fashion. I was really glad to get the opportunity to do this.
It's obviously a great time to be working with DC Comics, because they're kind of dominating TV. It's because of the DC shows that general audiences now know some of these characters, like Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, and Killer Frost.
Yes, I love that. I think it's a really cool thing what TV has done for these characters. And I'm a huge fan of all of those shows. I think they're great, they're fun to watch with my son. I actually got to show my son this movie last night, and he didn't know I had done it. Of course, I was a little nervous, hoping that he would be happy with what I had done with the Deadshot character. I was thrilled to get the thumbs up from him. That was the most important review I could get! [Laughs]
How early in the development do you see the actual rendering of the character you're voicing?
On this, it was kind of late. I had to do some pick-up lines a few months ago, where I did get to see some stuff. I thought it looked great. I thought the animation was amazing. The artists working on it, I think, were doing a really fantastic job.
Now, I can't talk to you and not ask: What can you tell me about the new Mr. Robot season?
[Laughs] I know right now that [executive producer] Sam Esmail is in the process of coming up with ideas and concepts, building the arc again. I think the writers' room will once again open in June. That's when I'll be submitting some of my questions with him, to see what he might be interested in. We'll go from there. We all try to sneak our ideas in early on in the process.
Oh nice. Have you ever gotten any in?
Oh yeah, absolutely. One of the great things about Sam—and this is how he's been from day one—I mean, he's a collaborator. He's definitely always said, 'This is not just my show. This is our show.' We've been building this thing from the start together. He's never been one of those guys who've been extremely secretive, at least [not] with us. I've been thrilled to be a part of something like this. Yeah, he's been open to ideas and he definitely let me throw some things in. I've been thrilled.
This is a pretty good time for you.
Dude, I couldn't be happier. Thank you. I just got back from London where I was doing Glengarry Glen Ross on the West End and that was an exciting experience. I had my kids for spring break, and now I'm just kicking back. It's great.
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, available for digital download now and on Blu-ray/DVD on Tuesday, April 10