These days, the live-action side of DC films has taken over the headlines whether it be the #SnyderCut or the theater/HBO Max simultaneous releases, leaving the animated stuff to take a backseat. (Or maybe it’s been like that for a while and I stopped paying attention.) After the phenomenal Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and the largely satisfactory Batman: Death in the Family adaptation, it seemed like the DC animated movie universe was hitting another turning point. So it came as a surprise to me that we’re getting a Bruce Timm-produced, Sam Liu-directed animated flick coming up in two days. Batman: Soul of the Dragon is almost out and the press has revved up a bit for the movie. IGN has been posting exclusive clips featuring the cast explaining their characters.
Boasting a very impressive, diverse cast in Mark Dacascos as Richard Dragon, Kelly Hu as Lady Shiva, and Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger, it seems like we’re in for a treat. Over the course of the last week, IGN has released clips from what looks like behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast explaining their characters.
A phenomenal cast
Martial artist and actor Dacascos seems like a fantastic fit for Richard Dragon. Though he won’t be able to show off his fighting prowess, I at least know he can use his voice as an instrument. Has anybody seen him as the host of Iron Chef America? That show is proof of his voice-acting capability. For a long time, my text ringtone was him screaming, “BEEEEEER!”
Lady Shiva is personally one of my favorite characters. She’s one of the deadliest assassins with the skills to go toe-to-toe with Batman. How can you not like her? I’m very happy that Hu is playing her. For fans of live-action comic book movies, she played Lady Deathstrike in X2. With regards to voice acting, she plays Cheshire in Young Justice, which she does so well. Another great fit.
And lastly, we have Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger. White is likely one of the most underrated actors and martial artists around. While he’s in plenty of things, he deserves to be in so much more. You may recognize him as the titular character in Spawn and Black Dynamite, while also playing with DC in The Dark Knight. Oh yeah, and he’s already played Bronze Tiger on Arrow. Like how Matt Ryan was seemingly born to play John Constantine, I can say the same about White as Bronze Tiger. In the clip, White even notices the similarities between himself and Ben Turner. Perfect casting.
If you need some more convincing, here’s a clip of Bronze Tiger taking down some goons in a few seconds.
Martial arts and groovy ’70s music and aesthetics? Sounds like something everybody will enjoy. Round that out with a great cast and crew and we’ve got a recipe for a great movie.
Batman: Soul of the Dragon hits digital on January 12, 2021, and physical on January 26, 2021.