We Chat with the Producers of YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS

Joe McCabe

Joe McCabe

Jan. 4, 2019


Are you ready for Young Justice: Outsiders? The long-awaited third season of the fan-favorite animated series Young Justice arrives exclusively on DC Universe on January 4th. To help get you fired up for the show's return, we recently spoke with producers Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman (who's written our exclusive Young Justice: Outsiders prequel comic), as well as art director Phil Bourassa. Here's what they had to say about making the dreams of many DC fans come true...


On why they think Young Justice is a favorite of fans...


WEISMAN: I really think it’s the characters. I think we told good stories -- I like to think that. But I really think the thing that locks people in with our show more than some others is just the characters, the great voice work, the great designs Phil’s done. They feel like members of the family to a lot of people, and that’s why they’re coming back for more.


BOURASSA: The [characters] seem like they have real lives. I think that that’s something that we’ve all put a lot of energy and thought and creativity into. Just giving them that nuance that real people have.


VIETTI: That was the primary goal of the show when we sat down to develop the series a long time ago. We had to look at the shows that came before us, the other superhero shows that we’ve done for Warner Bros Animation and try to figure out, "How are we going to stand out amongst all these other great superhero shows?" We kind of decided, "Let’s not make a superhero show. Let’s make a show about teenagers, and their lives, and we’ll fold superhero stuff into it." Along the way, we also decided to [give] it sort of a spy theme; [and put] a lot of secrets and lies into the show. We did it in ways that really felt like the lives of teenagers. There are a lot of secrets and lies and social dynamics going on, interplay between characters. It’s very big and important, and can be very dramatic at a younger age. So looking at it through that lens, that really guided the development of the show. Just focusing on characters. Forget that they’re superheroes, forget that they’re spies -- let’s just find these characters first.


On premiering Young Justice: Outsiders on DC Universe...


VIETTI: The great thing about the DC Universe streaming service is that we are able to age up the stories a bit from where we were with Cartoon Network. We can push boundaries a little bit, we can make things darker, we can make things more dramatic. We can show things on screen that we couldn’t before, in terms of violence. We talked about this. We knew we were going to be able to do this. But we didn’t want to be excessive about it. We didn’t want to be over-the-top about it or gratuitous about it. So I think we’ve found a way to take advantage of these strengths that the DC Universe offers us in terms of storytelling, and weave it into the show in a way that feels natural and doesn’t feel forced. That services the characters, services the stories, without just being over the top or just for the sake of doing it.


WEISMAN: Horror is a major new tone to the show that we didn’t have in the first two seasons. There are definitely elements of horror this season that we’re able to do now, and expand upon, that we couldn’t have done at Cartoon Network.


On being a part of DC Universe's library of movies, TV, and comics...


VIETTI: We’re very excited about that. For a DC fan, or even just somebody who’s kind of new to the DCU, what an amazing place to enter the DC Universe and have so much of the history of their entertainment from comics to movies to animation at your fingertips ready to load up... But, all along, we’ve always tried to hit all the different audiences when we’re writing. We’re trying to make sure that we’re paying respect to the characters that we’re working with that are well-established in comics. We want to make sure that, for hardcore fans who are into it, we’re doing it right for them. But also, we’re introducing fresh twists on famous stories, famous characters, so that it’s something new and interesting for an old fan to watch or a brand-new fan. Hopefully it just whets their appetite to learn even more about the DC Universe from their local comic shops or online or [via] any of the available resources.


On the future of Young Justice...


WEISMAN: From day one, we’ve had storylines [planned] that go out at least five to seven years. I don’t think we’ve planned much beyond year seven.


VIETTI: We’re always planting seeds. It’s almost impossible for us to get in a room and talk about story without talking about little mile markers in people’s lives that we know will spin out in the future into something bigger and something larger. It may not be in the season that we’re currently writing, but we know where it’s going to go; and we’ve got all that stuff written down. [Greg]’s got an office full of 3x5 cards that we just fill up endlessly with story ideas.


Are you excited for the return of Young Justice? Let us know in our Community!