Brandon Auman talks about writing “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”

Brandon Auman is the writer of great TV shows like “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and “Iron Man: Armored Adventures”. He also has done features like “Dead Space: Aftermath” and most recently “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brandon about “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” and what we can expect next.

Mike Gencarelli: Since “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore” is animated, is the scale ever a concern when you are in the writing process?
Brandon Auman: Not really, the beauty of writing 2D is that you’re not as constrained as you are in live-action or CG animation. I really love 2D animation and I’m so glad that Japan is keeping it alive, they feel like the last bastion of hope on this front. TV Studios really want to move completely into CG and as it gets cheaper, they will. I fear 2D is a thing of the past. My favorite sections of the film are in 2D and it looks beautiful. Some may complain there is a lack of animation, but that’s very anime. Long pauses on beautiful drawings. If the paintings are cool, who cares?

MG: I loved that you incorporated The Punisher into the story; tell us about that decision?
BA: Everyone at Marvel loves the Punisher. I pushed for him early on, thinking the idea would get shot down, but everyone loved it. I was really excited; finally I get to write some Punisher action! He rarely makes appearances in TV animation, but when he does, he always comes off… well, not Punishing. More like the “Kinda” Punisher. Who can’t kill bad guys, but maybe shoot a billboard down on top of them.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working with superheroes and with the animation genre?
BA: I love everything about it. It’s just so much fun, it’s a total dream job. I haven’t really left the genre either, because now I’m story editing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon. They’re sorta superheroes. Well they’re ninjas, and the stories are smaller… but it’s close.

MG: What other new projects do you have in the works for Marvel animation?
BA: I have a few things happening there. I wrote a bunch of episodes on “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” that I’m excited about. I get to work pretty closely with Henry Gilroy, Todd Casey and Jeph Loeb, three awesome creative guys at Marvel. I was always a big fan of Jeph’s work, so it’s really exciting, and I’ve worked with Henry many times in the past, he’s terrific.

Win Code to Watch Brandon Cronenberg’s “Antiviral” [ENDED]


In conjunction with the theatrical release of “Antiviral”, Media Mikes is excited to to give our readers a chance to win a code to watch the film starring Caleb Landry Jones right now on SundanceNOW. All you have to do is let us know, in a few sentences, your favorite way to watch films on demand. The giveaway will be open until May 3rd. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

The film is currently in theaters and is also available on the platform at:

Written and Directed by:
Brandon Cronenberg

Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith, Wendy Crewson, Malcolm McDowell

Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.


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Brandon Johnson talks about working on Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV::”

Brandon Johnson is the co-star of Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV::” He is joined by Paul Scheer, Kate Mulgrew, Rebecca Romijn, Martin Starr, June Diane Raphael and Rob Riggle. The show has just started its second season and already is shaping up to trump its first.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Brandon to find about what he like most about playing Alphonse and what we can expect this season.

Mike Gencarelli: What do you think makes “NTSF:SD:SUV::” so unique?
Brandon Johnson: I feel like you get a lot of bang for your buck. We think our audience is really smart. We know they are. We don’t try and hit it over their head, in terms of “Do you all get what a crime procedural is?”. One of the coolest things about Adult Swim and their shows is that they get really amazing talent to be able to come in and do these shows. What separates us from everyone else is our cameos. We have Ray Liotta in there. I have no idea how they got Kate Mulgrew, but she is hilarious. You look at it and it seems like just a little show but then you look closer and realize we have every member of “The Office”, the members of “Human Giant” and most of cast from “Freak and Geeks”, including Paul Fieg. If you are a nerd, we will appeal to you.

MG: If I wasn’t already a big fan, that is really a great sale for the show.
BJ: [laughs], I know right. If you are a computer nerd…we have a robot. If you like “Star Trek”…we have Kate Mulgrew. We are taking care of you nerds.

MG: Where do you get inspiration for Alphonse?
BJ: I love the contrast of LL Cool J and Ice-T as cops on television. Alphonse has these great one-liners that are pretty potent but he is terrified of everything. I like to be the basic cop like “Hey man, I may not have gone to college and don’t understand words on paper but I know your a criminal” [laughs]. As much as David Caruso believes that sunglasses improves his skills — LL Cool J believes that flexing his pecks makes him a better cop. I try to do the best I can to convey “I really don’t know what doing on here but I don’t like it”. [laughs]

MG: Have you gotten a script and just thought it was too over-the-top?
BJ: No. We are really happy that the writers are really really good at what they do. I am just really trying to keep up with them. The creators knew what they wanted to do with the show, so by the time we got there it was really tight.

MG: What can we expect from season two of “NTSF:SD:SUV::”
BJ: Season two you get to see the lovely NTSF:AK:CANOE, which is another NTSF in Alaska. We are going to Alaska to meet my father, who is being played by Steven Williams.

MG: How do you compare this season to the first season?
BJ: The first season, I think we were trying to win you. We went to different locations in each episodes and there wasn’t a lot of focus on some of the other characters. This season your are going to get more of June (Diane Raphael), a lot of Rebecca (Romijn), and Martin (Starr) gets his own episode. One of the things we wanted to do this season was say “Look now that you know how crazy we are, let’s go ahead and give you a look at each of the characters”. I mean there will always be (Paul) Scheer, since we need him and he is just amazing.

MG: Any room for improv?
BJ: It is a weird thing. It is like a Jeter situation [laughs]. “We know that you were a great baseball player once and still are and if we ever need those skills that will be amazing, but you trust the skipper on this one and just do your job” [laughs]. I thankfully don’t have to improv that much. The writers are really good and help me out on that.

MG: What else do you have planned next?
BJ: I do but I have to be loyal to this one. I think this show is going to be awesome this season!

Author Brandon T. Snider talks about his book “The Dark Knight Manual”

Brandon T. Snider is the author of best selling “The Dark Knight Manual”, also one of my favorite Batman books. It has recently been featured in Entertainment Weekly, Time, Forbes and Wired. Brandon has also done writing for Comedy Central’s “Come Inside with Amy Schumer” and contributed humor to the Huffington Post. Media Mikes had a chance to ask Brandon a few questions about his new book and his favorite comic characters.

Mike Gencarelli: What was your biggest challenge with your book “The Dark Knight Manual”?
Brandon T. Snider: The deadlines were quite challenging, actually! The turnaround was very quick so I didn’t have a ton of time to second guess myself and the direction we ultimately went in. At first I approached the material with a slightly more personal take but it was decided to make it more cut and dry so I had to rethink how I wanted to do it and plow ahead. I wrote it in about a month which was kind of insane. I usually like writing something, taking a breather and then returning with fresh eyes. In this case I had to finish parts and then get them in quickly while wading through the material for the next part. And somehow it all came together in the end.

MG: The design of the book literally feels like a pop-up manual for the series, why did you decide that route for the book?
BTS: That format was already in place before I signed on. Insight Editions has cornered the market on cool, coffee table-sized booksthat are filled with fold outs and fun stuff. I was approached to write the book based on my previous experiences with my editor Chris Cerasi. As far as the interactive features, I wasn’t as involved in their selection but I did give suggestions based on the material I included. Process-wise we decided early on what weapons and characters to feature and then the designer, Jon Glick, would pull the appropriate artwork and create the beautiful visuals. Christopher Nolan and his team had a true vision for Batman and his world and thankfully we were able to incorporate the best pieces of that vision into the book.

MG: How much research did you have to do in order to complete this book?
BTS: I did a fair amount of research but I never strayed from what was established in the Nolan trilogy. I didn’t use the comic books or any other version of Batman than the one you’ve seen in the recent films. My main resources were Batman Begins and The Dark Knight which I watched more times than I can count. For each viewing I’d look for different things; broad themes, embellishments and sometimes just straight up information. I wanted the entirety of the films to inform my work so it was important for me to absorb as much as I could. I had ancillary resources for the more specific details and incorporated real world factoids to enhance the idea that much of Batman’s arsenal is rooted in established technology.

MG: Based on your work, is it safe to say that you are DC Comics fan over Marvel?
BTS: I don’t think it is safe to say that, my good man! I’ve not yet had a chance to work with many Marvel characters as of yet. Had I the chance, I might just take it as I think they have a great stable ofproperties. Don’t get me wrong, I love DC Comics characters. Hopefully more opportunities will come my way to do stuff with them in the near future but that’s not for me to decide. And, truth be told, I think the Marvel and DC universes are quite different. I know fans love to compare the two but the reason they’ve both been so successful are because they’re not like one another. There are parallels but overall their mythologies are unique. It sounds diplomatic but it’s true.

MG: Who would you say is your favorite superhero/villain?
BTS: I’ve always had a soft spot for Lex Luthor and I love all the versions of him; the mad scientists, the jerk capitalist and everything in between. A man with unlimited money and resources who chooses to pursue the selfish agenda of destroying the one person who he believes is a spotlight-stealing fraud? I mean…that’s pretty great. And the parallels to politics that can be drawn fascinate and scare me.

MG: Who would be your dream character to do a book on?
BTS: I suppose my answer depends on the type of book but in general terms I’d love to write a Justice League story. If we’re talking about a manual-style book I think there’s a lot of potential in Superman’s world for that type of informational ledger.

MG: What do you have planned next after “The Dark Knight Manual”?
BTS: I recently worked as a staff writer on a Comedy Central pilot that just got picked up and stars comedian Amy Schumer. I’m also working on a few books for Harper Collins featuring The Annoying Orange. Everything else is too soon to talk about but I’m lucky to have been given a range of opportunities in my writing career and I hope to continue working on as many diverse projects as I can get my hands on.


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Brandon Routh talks about new film “Crooked Arrows”

Born in Iowa, Brandon Routh is probably best known for his portrayal of the Man of Steel in “Superman Returns.” Though the film made over $400 million it was deemed a “disappointment,” which to me was a slap in the face to the fans that loved the film and Routh. In my review of “Superman Returns” I noted that “Routh certainly has large red boots to fill…and he fills them admirably.”

Since then he has worked steadily, appearing in such films as “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and “Fling,” which he also co-produced. This week Routh returns to theatres as Native American lacrosse coach Joe Logan in the film “Crooked Arrows.” Routh recently sat down with Media Mikes to talk about “Crooked Arrows,” going behind the camera and how “Superman Returns” still has its benefits:

Mike Smith: What attracted you to “Crooked Arrows”?
Brandon Routh: A couple of things. The fact that it’s about lacrosse, which is a sport I’ve been interested in learning more about. And the story. The script had a lot of passion…a lot of heart…in telling the true heritage of the sport of lacrosse, the Native American people and the sport’s origins.

MS: You’re obviously an athletic guy. Did you play lacrosse growing up?
BR: I didn’t. Growing up in Iowa there wasn’t any lacrosse. (NOTE: I grew up in Florida and we didn’t play lacrosse either. It wasn’t until I moved to Baltimore in the early 1980s did I see the game being played. It’s regionally popular in the mid-Atlantic states and is slowly growing a nationwide following) I grew up playing soccer. I would have loved to have played lacrosse but there wasn’t any to be had. That’s what made this role cool….I got to learn how to play.

MS: As you’re playing a Native American, did you do any special research to bring an authenticity to your character?
BR: I didn’t have to do a lot of research because I had access to Neal Powless, who was the cultural adviser. He’s from the Onondaga Nation as well as a producer on the film. He also was my lacrosse coach! (NOTE: Powless is a former professional lacrosse player and was a three time All-American in college). I was so fortunate to haveaccess to him for any questions I may have had.

MS: You were a co-producer on “Fling,” which was filmed here in Kansas City. Do you have any desire to go back behind the scenes? Either back into producing or even behind the camera as a director?
BR: I used to think I wanted to be a director. I’m not sure if that will happen or not. It would certainly have to be something that I wasn’t acting in. The job of a director is so challenging. You have so many people that you have to please. I think I’m a few years from that. But it is a thought. A thought for down the road.

MS: I want to preface this question by saying that I was 17 when “Superman the Movie” came out. I loved Chris Reeve as an actor. I thought you did a brilliant job in “Superman Returns.” You truly did the character, and Christopher Reeve’s memory, proud.
BR: Thank you.

MS: I preface that because, even though the film made $400 million, it was looked at in some parts of Hollywood as a failure. Do you think that kind of thinking…where a film is first judged by how much money it makes in its opening weekend rather than whether it’s a good film or not…will eventually hurt the chances of smaller films like “Crooked Arrows” even being made?
BR: No. I mean me being in “Crooked Arrows” is only because of “Superman.” And this is a much different kind of film…an independent film. It follows a completely different release schedule…we’re able to do so much more with promoting it. So I don’t see that kind of thinking effecting smaller filmmaking in any way.

MS: What are you working on next?
BR: A pilot I shot just got picked up by CBS. It’s a sitcom called “Partners.” So hopefully I’ll be seeing you on Monday nights in the foreseeable future starting in the fall.