JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time Director Giancarlo Volpe Goes Behind the Scenes of the Stealth Release

Last week, fans discovered that Target Stores had set out to reinvent the Super Friends franchise [...]


Last week, fans discovered that Target Stores had set out to reinvent the Super Friends franchise for the modern age, and that Green Lantern: The Animated Series's Giancarlo Volpe had been tapped to direct a straight-to-DVD, Target-exclusive feature film titled JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. Starring the Justice League (minus Green Lantern) alongside Robin and two members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the film was a retelling of an episode of Super Friends, in which Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom travel back in time to prevent baby Kal-El ever landing on Earth to become Superman. Despite bringing back some fan-favorite talent from shows like Young Justice and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the film managed to remain totally under wraps until it appeared in the Target circular three days prior to its release. Volpe joined ComicBook.com to talk about the movie; the first half of our Q&A ran yesterday morning and can be found here.


ComicBook.com: Why "JLA Adventures?" It seems as though it's been a long while since we saw that JLA logo on anything official. Volpe: That's all marketing stuff in which I have very little say. I'm sure it's got something to do with giving shoppers a sense of familiarity so they're more willing to give the movie a chance. Sorry I don't have a more insightful response than that. I just make the cartoons. ComicBook.com: Is the plan to do more JLA Adventures movies if this one is successful? Volpe: I'm sure that's always a possibility, especially if JLA Adventures sells really well. I wouldn't be surprised if every movie in this town is made with visions of franchises dancing in the heads of the creators. ComicBook.com: If so, would you be involved? Volpe: I would love to do more, especially if I could bring back the same cast and crew. The trickier hurdle is that I now work at Riot Games. If I could only clone myself and work at multiple studios all at once. Actually if that were possible, I'd probably be working on Korra and Star Wars: Rebels, too. Oh, and Game of Thrones. Not that they'd have any use for me, but I'd be happy to hold Emilia Clarke's wig between takes. ComicBook.com: A while back, it was rumored that Bruce Timm was working on a new Justice League animated series. Could it be that whoever "leaked" that was actually talking about JLA Adventures projects for Target and didn't know as much as they thought? Volpe: I guess that's totally possible. In all honesty, there's always multiple Justice League movies going on at any given time at Warner Bros. Animation. It wouldn't be a hard assumption for an overeager intern to assume Bruce was involved with one of them.


Time Trapper seems like the part of this film that would have taken the most time in terms of design and animation. Did your background with Green Lantern the Animated Series help in terms of some of the digital effects for his powers and hourglass? Volpe: In some ways animating Time Trapper was easier than the other characters because he moves so little. He just sort of stands there with his cloak blowing in the wind. Because his face is hidden, you never have to animate lip sync or eye direction. His effects did require a little more attention though. There was some CG used for that (particularly for the giant portal in the sky) but you'd be surprised how much of it was handled with traditional animation and After Effects. ComicBook.com: If you were given carte blanche to do something like this (bearing in mind you had less than an hour to do it), is there a particular DC story you'd like to try and adapt or approximate? Volpe: If it were truly carte blanche, then I'd go back and finish the story Jim Krieg and I set out to tell on Green Lantern the Animated Series, which would have included Sinestro going bad and a Blackest Night-like event (not to mention showing what happened to Razer and his quest to find Aya). Other than that, a lot of my favorite DC comics have already been adapted to screen (Batman Year One, and The Dark Knight Returns to name a few). I actually really prefer coming up with new ideas. ComicBook.com: Do you think if they do more of these, the "stealth" part will be harder, since people are now going to be watching your Twitter feed and bugging you about sequels? Or do you guys pretty much have a means in place to keep these things under wraps? Volpe: I kept pretty tight lipped about it all this time until I got WB's blessings to tweet about it. But I did have fun teasing people that something was coming out, even when I wasn't supposed to talk about it yet. I guess that's just the filmmaker in me - always trying to keep people guessing and wondering what's going to happen next.