David Giuntoli on Playing Batman for ‘Soul of the Dragon’

by Eric Lee
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Article by Eric Lee

Actor David Giuntoli has spoken about his process as he plays a younger, more hot-headed Dark Knight in Batman: Soul of the Dragon.

Giuntoli voices the Caped Crusader in the 70’s-style martial arts-inspired animated movie. While the 70’s definitely play a role in the actor’s performance, there’s more going on with the animated film’s version of Bruce Wayne.

Wayne’s going through a recent heartbreak, and is also relatively new to being the caped crusader, so he is not as self-assured as later incarnations. Giuntoli dishes about the character’s emotional underpinnings in the film.

If you only encountered Batman recently, you wouldn’t know that he was once a kind of young man trying to find his fight, a man who didn’t have the abilities to do absolutely anything, not as sure-footed, still trying to find his way. I think that was a really fun thing to get to play, to maybe introduce audiences not familiar with his younger years, and I think it’s just incredibly fun. [When] we meet him, he’s just broken up with this beautiful, young woman and he just can’t let her into his life and all of his secrets, and it’s really emblematic of where he is at the time.

Becoming Batman

Unlike many other actors, David Giuntoli is not intimately familiar with the Dark Knight, or his mythos. However, that didn’t stop the actor from getting into the role. Switching between Bruce Wayne and Batman turned out to be a highlight for him.

I have friends who are just absolutely rabid about DC, and I grew completely devoid — I had three sisters, none of whom introduced me to comics. So I feel like I get to come at it kind of clean, without too much of an imprint on my psyche, so I just kind of do what I do from the page. All I know is, when I approach it, he needs to have another gear: Bruce Wayne and Batman need to have another gear that no one else has. It’s a gear that’s just mired in anger, and that’s where he kind of feeds his power from. Sometimes when I’m using a deeper register, I have to remember to keep another level there like Spinal Tap; got to go to eleven, got to keep something in [the] tank to rev up as Batman. It was fun to be charming and then as dark as you can be! What more could you want?

It will be cool to see Giuntoli’s take on the role. Soul of the Dragon is a non-traditional Batman movie, so why not a non-traditional Batman?

For more of David Giuntoli’s interview click here.

Batman: Soul of the Dragon arrives January 12, 2021 on Digital HD and on January 26 on Blu-Ray and 4K UHD.

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