(KGET) — Canadian-American actress and producer Stana Katic joins a growing list of performers who have helped bring the comic book character of Wonder Woman to the small and big screen. Katic’s portrayal of the Amazon hero is for the DC Universe Movies release “Justice Society: World War II.”
Katic felt a deep obligation when taking on the voice of Wonder Woman.
“I do feel a sense of responsibility with a character like Wonder Woman because I know how meaningful she is to audience members,” Katic says. “Especially, members who find they can identify with the character.
“I had an experience during the quarantine where I was caring for a lot of family members. My niece was in my care and we had to take her to emergency. While we were waiting I could tell she was nervous. So I played her Wonder Woman clips from different films and TV shows and I could tell it boosted her spirits. It gave her confidence to face everything that day.”
Seeing that reaction with her own respect for ancient warrior women drove Katic to take on the role in “Justice Society” with a great reverence for the mythology of the character and a wish to add to it in a small way.
Katic got that chance in the feature-length animated production that will be available on digital platforms starting April 27 and on Blu-ray starting May 11. A modern-day Barry Allen – prior to the formation of the Justice League – speeds into the middle of a battle between Golden Age DC super heroes and Nazis. Led by Wonder Woman, the group includes Hourman, Black Canary, Hawkman, Steve Trevor and Jay Garrick. Katic gives voice to the group’s leader, Wonder Woman.
This is not the first voice work for the actor best known for playing Kate Beckett on the ABC television romantic crime series “Castle” from 2009–2016. She was the voice of Talia al Ghul in the video game “Batman: Arkham City” and spoke for Lois Lane in the animated offering “Superman: Unbound.”
Being the voice of Wonder Woman in “Justice Society” is the most extensive work she has done for an animated project. It also required her to find just the right voice for the character to set her off from how others have played Wonder Woman over the years.
The key was making sure to honor the Wonder Woman mythology that has been developing since the character was introduced in 1941.
“Honoring that mythology meant Wonder Woman would have an accent,” Katic says. “And, for me, that was an interesting task because I was given an opportunity in a way to imagine what one of these Scythian, Illyrian, Thracian-like warrior women would sound like today.
“So I grabbed from those regions and added a dash of my grandmothers who were survivors of World War II and we came up with this version.”
“Justice Society” is just the latest credit in a long acting career for Katic. She played Hana Gitelman in “Heroes,” Collette Stenger in “24’s” season five and Jenny in the film “Feast of Love.” She’s also appeared in “The Spirit,” “Quantum of Solace” and “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice.”
Recording the voice for an animated project can be a lengthy process. Katic credits voice director Wes Gleason with help her maintain the voice for Wonder Woman throughout the recording process. Gleason is a voice and casting director of animated TV series and direct-to-video films, as well as video games made under the DC banner.
Initial work on “Justice Society” was complicated by the fact Katic was working in Bulgaria on the Amazon thriller “Absentia” where she plays Agent Emily Byrne. But, each time Katic stepped back in front of a microphone, she came well prepared with the voice of Wonder Woman in her head. If there had been any problems, Gleason had samples of her previous recording sessions ready.
“They make sure you are well equipped with recordings you can reference and use as a guidepost,” Katic says. “We recorded the first day in Bulgaria which is kind of funny because it serves as this sort of Thracian, Illyrian backdrop I was reaching for with the character.
“Then the second recording was done after we got into quarantine. That session was done here in the United States.”
“Justice Society” brings Katic and Matt Bomer together again as they made their debuts in the DC Universe Movies franchise as Lois Lane and Superman in the 2013 film “Superman: Unbound.” The voice cast also includes: Armen Taylor as Jay Garrick; Elysia Rotaru as Black Canary; Liam McIntyre as Aquaman; Omid Abtahi as Hawkman; Matthew Mercer as Hourman; Keith Ferguson as Dr. Fate; and Chris Diamantopoulos as Steve Trevor.
“Justice Society: World War II” will be released as a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for a suggested price of $39.99 and on Blu-ray alone for $29.98.