When Disney Plus was launched in November 2019, The Walt Disney Company focused its efforts on raising around original shows such as Counterfeit and material content, from their epic Classics to Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But for many longtime fans, one of the platform's most exciting hobbies has been one of its small nomads: the entire launch of the 1994-1997 series Gargoyles. American photo disturbances, Gargoyles it was a real revelation back in the 1990s: a fantastic show with deep world-building, thriving stories, rich characters and, above all, a growing narrative.
It may be hard to remember these days, when arc-filled stories are still commonplace, but when Gargoyles introduced, many American animated TV shows were designed to be synchronized, meaning they could be downloaded or watched in any order. So the whole episode was meant to start and end with the same scene, with nothing changing. Gargoyles Producer Greg Weisman says that thinking “made it difficult for me to get a job on a daily basis,” because studios know he was special in serial storytelling. I like to say, "Yes, yes, but I can do other things too," she tells Polygon. “They were like, & # 39; Yyyyyeah, without fail you can. We'll go with somebody. & # 39; ”
Weisan and his team, including writer / news editor Michael Reows, were ahead of their time Gargoyles. Wisan had a successful career in TV animation, as the star of shows such as the super stellar superhero series Little Justice And photos of Tony & # 39; Spideracular Spider-Man, and as a writer's producer on Star Wars Rebels, in the middle many other shows. But his adherence to Gargoyles it's especially clear. Ever since the show came up on Disney Plus, he's been using social media to interact with fans, encouraging them to bite and share the show, hopefully, Disney will see this franchise revive it.
And it is ripe for improvement. The series, which deals with a race of creatures that turns stones by day and lives like meat in the night, started in 1990s Manhattan, and initially focused on a small group of survivors in the fight against mass murder in contemporary Scotland. The series has captured several cast members Star Trek: The Next Generation, including Marina Sirtis (as the disgusting demon Demon), Jonathan Frakes (as the wealthy industrialist and merchant / enemy Xanatos), and Brent Spiner (as the evil Puck). But in the end, the series traveled around the world to touch the gargoyles in many other cultures. Weisman maintains a Long FAQ describing all the landforms entered into the series, and many organized investigations that did not happen. In a lengthy short interview with Polygon, he spoke about his hopes for the future Gargoyles now that it's finally available in the broadcast, he explained why the third season of the show is so different from the first one, revealing how OJ Simpson helped kill it Gargoyles, and more.
This discussion is organized for clarity and clarification.
What is your emotional connection to the series? It's been 25 years, and he's done a lot of other shows during that time. Are you alright Gargoyles these days?
Gargoyles he is my child. I'm not mine. I'm not finishing that with Disney Plus. And yet I'm very happy that it is, I'm happy that it represents an opportunity – albeit a small opportunity – to give it back. I've always wanted to do more. I have a show timeline that is 315 pages long. I have notebooks and comp notebooks full of ideas for them. Spin-off ideas and all kinds of things. In fact there is nothing more fun for me than going back and doing more Gargoyles.
Most of those crazy spin-offs are which is included in your FAQ. If Disney Plus came to you tomorrow and said, "We'll do any of these, but only one," what would you catch first?
The problem with the question is whether there is nothing in the vacuum. If I really had my first choice, I'd be like, “More than anything else, I want to take it Gargoyles pick up where you left off, starting in 1997, and make this time. ”But what's wrong, any discussion along those lines may have its limits: Walt Disney Television animation or whoever may be like," Hi, here's what we do. " Or "This is what we love." So I definitely saw the acting Gargoyles 2198, which introduces the news in the future, and has a great, fresh start. I saw the acting TimeDancer, featuring some of the show's most iconic characters, Brooklyn, that would allow us to touch on many things. Although manufacturing is smart, it may be the hardest part. In fact, I'd be happy to do it anywhere. Bad Guys it was the actual outbreak that got it first and foremost.
But my guess is that we will allow to do more shows. And the truth is, my guess is that they want to restart it, just as they did Duck Fables, with great success and great result. And that's not my first choice. I'm not saying I refuse, but I'm very proud of the work we've done, and I don't think it needs to be started. I think we like to do more. In a world with streaming service, where you get 65 episodes, I just watch it Gargoyles season 3. But those are not the decisions I make.
Fans of the show back in the 1990s were very aware of the staff shift heading into season 3, and they had a tendency not to like a big tonal shift. But now it's available to a completely different generation of people, who will see it all as one big unit on Disney Plus without knowing the history behind it. What is your concern there?
I have a lot of sympathy for the people who made season 3. They had a really tough schedule. They didn't have time to read the show. There were a lot of talented people working in that era. But for me – I wrote the first episode, but I didn't produce it. Someone rearranged my text after I left.
I've seen this episode a few times, but the other 12 episodes, I've only been seen once, because they really hurt me. If I had my way, totally self-centered, they would not stop Goliath Chronicles
So I don't ignore or write about those 12 issues, and I don't think about them much. I think I've been watching it all at once, to see what problems might not be happening to us, because it's been exactly 24 years since those issues came up. But it is very disappointing. So yeah, I've always wished they didn't. Which is shocking to say about someone else's work, but they just don't feel it Gargoyles to me. It sounds like another show where our characters are set.
The first season was 13 episodes, and the second was 52. How is that possible?
Of course it wasn't me! (Laughter) It was Buena Vista Television, which was our distribution arm at the time, the merging arm of the Walt Disney Company. We’ve done 13 episodes in 10 month travel plans, which means you have 10 months per step, and they are overflowing. So you have 10 months to write 13 articles, 10 months to ride 13 articles, 10 months to make 13 articles. And all those 10 months do not follow each other, they overlap, so there is a point where all these steps are going on at the same time. When we made the first 13 episodes, we asked for season 2, another 13 episodes. And they said, “Well, we're not going to fetch you yet, we don't know how this is going to happen. But you can write six more texts, we will invest you so far. ”
After that the show went on air, and it was a huge official hit for that first season. I wouldn't call it a good slam, but it was actually a home run. It was only once a week, and it was done really well. This year, toys were the number one toy for boys in the United States. And that's important, because at that time, the toys paid for the animated show. So Buena Vista came to us and said, "We want to kick off the show" – which means that instead of just once a week, they want it five days a week, the following year. At that meeting, I said "That's not possible." We did 13 episodes in 10 months. We will not do 52 in 10 months. "And they were not very happy.
So they say, "Well, how much can you do?" I said, “I know we can do six, because we have six labels in the works now. I'm sure we can do 13. That's what we originally asked. And if we kept going, I think we could do 18. They were looking for all of them in the fall phase. You have to remember what TV was like in the 90 & # 39; s. It was all about getting down the drain. With animation, you can make all your new episodes in the fall quarter, and then renew yourself over the next three locations, with a new image next fall. You can keep one or two episodes of spring sweeping. I've never heard anyone talk about filtering through age, I don't know if that kind of thing exists. But at that time, there was sweat and fall in the spring.
They want all the episodes in the fall – 52 episodes, and 10 months to do it. They said, "Well, if we add 52, just six." So we started production before those six episodes. Then, two weeks later, I received a phone call, "Well, you said you could do 13, right?" And I said, "That was two weeks ago, but I think we can do it if we start now." Then, two weeks later, they would say, “You said you could do 18!” I'm like, “That was last month! You called us the moon! "" And yet you said you could make 18! " "Okay, we'll manage, we'll do 18."
And then two weeks after that, they called me and said they wanted 52. And I said I would do it again, and they won me over. So we start – I'm not exaggerating here – we are stressing our employees. We lost six weeks to our program. So we go from having one story editor, the wonderful Michael Reave, to four news editors – he and Brynne Chandler, then Brynne Chandler-Reows, and Cary Bates, and the latest, the wonderful Gary Sperling.
We've expanded the world of the series, and we've moved from stories set in Manhattan to stories set worldwide. We have added to many gargoyles, and to other families and elsewhere around the world. And that coincided with a meeting I had with Michael Eisner, then chairman of the Walt Disney Company. I was at a meeting where he wanted to buy Marvel Comics. This was in the mid-1990s. And there was talk of her at the meeting, which still intrigues me. So he said, "Well, Warner Brothers has DC Comics, we need a universe like DC or Marvel." He turned to me and said, “We can use it Gargoyles like a Disney workspace launch pad? "And I said yes. So we started developing all these carts and rear planes, like New Olympics and Pendragon episode, and others we placed in season two.
But when it was time for the third season, a few things happened, and one of them was that all my bosses disappeared. (Disney president and CEO) Frank Wells died in helicopter accident, which put Jeffrey (Katzenberg) and Michael into a fight. Jeffrey has gone to find DreamWorks. My managers, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston, both went to DreamWorks. All the people I worked for were great Gargoyles the champions were gone. At first, I put Eisner on that, but Roy Disney forced him to – he was accused of being a micromanager, so there were things he stopped doing, and one of them was choosing a series with pictures. Prior to that, he had been the first, last and last name of the series we performed in. Of course Gargoyles they become a series, that's because Michael said yes, in the end. Suddenly, Gargoyles it became a show of old royalty, and the idea of using it to create a Disney universe completely fell apart. It was a great time that didn't go away, but it was a great moment.
Did that personnel change lead to the show being made on the ABC-Saturday-morning cartoon?
Yes and no. The biggest problem we had, they wanted 52 episodes in the fall of 1995. We were able to make 31, so in my opinion, I was a hero. But in their opinion – they forgot I told them it was impossible, and they are mad. After that we had a few problems. The OJ Simpson trial means that we were always in search of cover for the trial, because we were in accredited stations, and the synchronized stations were staying with local news in the 1990s. Every day it ran, we were picked, and in any given city, people missed their portions Gargoyles, and get out of the habit of watching it.
The second major problem was Morphin Power Rangers coming to the United States. That show could have stopped the energy. So in season 1, we were the number 1 show of our evening, and in season 2, we were always at number 2. We were not a failure, but we were moving from being a double home game. Power Ranger it was big news and home runs. Our toys are falling. So there's not much thought of doing season 3. The viewing is lame. It sounds amazing that OJ Simpson helped destroy it Gargoyles, but the truth.
So it won't be season 3 at all. Then Disney bought City Cities, which includes ABC. And they say that ABC Saturday morning needs to be seen by the boys, so they say "Let's do it Gargoyles. ”But they had unique ideas for creating a break from the afternoon show. So they call it The Chronicles of Goliath. They had different levels of S&P than we had in the consensus. And they've lost just about everybody, creatively, to the show. They came up to me and asked me to take a dip from a producer to a news editor, which, as you can imagine, is a very unpleasant prospect. I said, “Give me a weekend to consider.” And they said, "Certainly." And when I come back on Monday, they've already hired me to replace someone else. So they were very eager to keep me there.
They ended up doing a show in Nelvana. They told me they were going to do it at DIC, which was not a high-end studio back in those days. This is one of the reasons I was hesitant to stay, because it looked like we were heading to the basement. And we were giving it very little time, and it's actually a new number of people who made the show, almost without exception. All of that contributed Goliath Chronicles
For most people, Gargoyles it was their first American animation experience to have long story arcs, and characters that appeared over time. Animators for future shows are like this Avatar: The Last Airbender it is usually pointing Gargoyles as crucial to their development. Do you have a favorite "Gargoyles encourage me ”news?
The character of Elisa Maza, played by Salli Richardson, seems to have made a huge difference to many people. In terms of lengthy news, I wish to say, “Well, the creators of this program or show say they wouldn't do their show if it wasn't for Gargoyles. No one did that. (Laughter) You have to choose a show that you think is influenced by it, and go ask its creators if Gargoyles it means anything to them.
You know, we were very influenced Hall Street Blues, which for me is the beginning of modern television. This Golden Age we are all going back to Hall Street to me. But from a cartoon standpoint, I think Gargoyles it was – I think I can say this in all humility – before its time. There Little Justice Announcing the revival, our manager here at Warner Brothers, Sam Register, told us for the first few seasons Little Justice, "You created an excellent show of independence, you've just done it again after five years." Just saying Gargoyles it was a show of moderate attack, made 25 years soon. (Laughs) I like to think Gargoyles it had a positive impact on the creators, but I have no good news there.
It sounds like Disney Plus hasn't touched you in any way. There was no discussion about the show being part of the app?
Well, they didn't. It's not like they owe me a call. I'm happy that they did. Little did I know a few months in advance that it would be part of the service. That surprised me, when I got that, because I was told the opposite, that they wouldn't put it there. I was delighted when they decided, “We've got it, we can put you there.” Because I think it symbolizes the little picture when you bring the show back. If enough fans call this show over and over, if we can prove that Disney's fan base is there … There have been times over the years, I don't know what they were, but discussions about bringing something back somehow.
And all those conversations were interrupted when Disney bought Lucasfilm and Marvel. And you can see why. Why take a chance on what they considered a trivial show in 1990 with the cult following, when you could just make a Spider-Man cartoon, or a Star Wars cartoon? Why risk a big budget Gargoyles A live-action action bomber, when you can make another Movie movie? Roger that. But I think Gargoyles you can do great things at Disney.
You may want a live action Gargoyles?
I love it, especially if they allow me to write and produce. Obviously no one wants a bad version of Gargoyles, and if breastfeeding, that would be bad. But even if it's absorbed, it may be a high enough profile to allow us to do more Gargoyles comedy, or more of a show. That is a matter I can take. I do not collect money Gargoyles. Disney is 100% his own, but I obviously feel good about it. And I love seeing property grow. As long as nothing can be done about it, that is impossible. But if something is done about it, and I think the Disney Plus count as something, there is at least a shot at letting us tell more stories in that space. That would be great for me, emotionally.
How will the live action bring it into the story?
In and of itself? Not at all. Just famous to let me do more animation. I don't know if it would be better for live action, and God knows it would be worse. But you can make Keith David play with Goliath. You could probably make Marina Sirtis play Demona, because that would be CGI characters in the world of existentialism. You can bring that show to life in a way that I think will be really cool. We've had some amazing, amazing, amazingly good things in a series of photos, and to see them in a working mood can be just as bad. It's just another way to let the show come to life and breathe again. I wouldn't mind taking risks.
He mentioned Detective Maza as an enthusiastic observer. Was it because she was actually a woman of color and a female lead instead of an authority? Was there more to it?
I think all of these things. She was led by a woman who was not a girl in distress. We tried to make sure that every time Goliath saves his life, he saves his. We've made him creative and funny. We made her sexy without having sex. She was racist – part African-American, Native American – and was played by a woman of color. He felt real. He had parents, he had brothers, he had a cat. He was healthy before he met the rabbits. We had a great story of beauty and love Beast in his slow relationship with Goliath. So I think he became, to many people, a wishful character. Not in a pedestrian way, but in a real way.
At the time, I didn't think about it. I've already wanted several variations. We're doing a story set in Manhattan, I wanted Manhattan to show a more multicultural, more racist Manhattan I know. I can't help but imagine how unusual Elisa was in the 1990s cartoon, not just being the hero's girlfriend, but actually having her center, her strengths, her flaws. He was not perfect, but he was brave.
Is there a feature of the show that thinks it plays differently for the 2020 audience?
Yes, cell phones have a lot of abuse. I mean, really, the one thing that sets the show apart is, of course, cell phones. Their first shortcoming, is that when you see Xanatos with a cellphone, it's a brick size. I always tell my kids that as the iPhone continues to grow bigger, we will soon be back to those brick-made cell phones we had in the early 1990s. But, for the most part, the show is timeless, and it still works the same for viewers. Are there things I can change a bit here? The thing I talked to the fans was that this Lexington character, one of the detectives, was a homosexual. But in those days, we couldn't say that. So we just tried to label him always as a homosexual character, so that if one day, when the world was different, a better place, we would be able to acknowledge it and look like it was out of left field.
I went through the same thing Little Justice, when for the first two seasons on Cartoon Network, we weren't allowed to be objective about our LGBTQ characters. Now, in the DC Universe, in seasons 3 and 4, we can be, most of the time. It always felt like a rock to me for Lexington not to be out, but it's not like I had the power to say "We're doing this." If I persisted, I would be dismissed. If anything, as far as I want to do, they would have gone out of their goal to make it clear that Lexington (deep voice, but button) is not as homosexual as he could be. So I don't want to take too much credit for not promoting something beyond my ability to raise. But we have tried at least to lead the way, or to direct the way, so that when they go down the road, things get better, we can do more with it. So if we have a new season of Gargoyles, I hope that in this day and age, they have allowed us to be more open.
The Xanatos Gambit has become a standalone TV thread, and is still very quotable and highly regarded. What goes into developing that aspect of his personality, the status of "All my conquest is a secret victory"?
We didn't call it the Xanatos Gambit back in the day. We called them Xanatos tags, because it was always the tag at the end of the episode. It bothers me more than I believe the trope is named after him. I don't know if we created it – there has to be somebody in front of us who did it – but we respected it. (Laughs) Part of it was a conversation with me, Michael Reave, and (conservation manager) Frank Paur. We didn't want our residents to rot. We wanted Xanatos to be as smart as we have never seen villains before. I didn't want her to be petty, that was the main thing. I didn't want him to take revenge.
At one point we were playing on the idea that Xanatos was trying to avenge us, and then we twisted it, you would find that it wasn't him, and the real Xanatos didn't give a chance for revenge. There is a moment where he puts the written notes in the mortal realm, and he's like, "This is my first real attempt at cliché villainy. How do I work?" because you can't use something you killed. And Xanatos is about this abuse, it's all about preparation. So he'd have a plan A and a plan B. Then we would do one episode where he had plans C, D, and E.
That idea of making him smart, and saying "I'll end up left, because what I want here is right, and when I get left and good, good, but at least, I'll find the right one ”- that idea became an important part of his personality. One of the things I'm most proud of on the show is that Xanatos and Demona, who are very different, feel like real poor, of the kind that I don't think he's seen on TV until then. It's been very similar to them ever since, but back then, I think they were unique and special.
As you mentioned, this is a dangerous series, and the episodes work best in the context of a growing narrative. But anyway, do you have any favorites that you wouldn't want people to miss?
Yes, I think our first five partners are really strong. Arguably the best place to start, our driver. I think it got really tight. The pictures, in size, are really good. The story is solid, the characters are pop. If I had to pick one of my favorite clips, there's one called "The Mirror," which is my ultimate Gargoyles episode. Our participants are strong and great, especially the first, "Rise," and the last, "Hunter's Month." But if you had to pick one episode of the 22 minutes that I think symbolized the power of the series, it would be "The Mirror." There's love, lots of humor, great stories. There's a good kick-ass animation and good character work. It shows the heavy Shakespearean influence on the show. There are a few fun revelations there. So if I have to pick one episode to sell this series, that's it.
I have learned that Shakespeare's influence comes directly from you. Why isn't Shakespeare in the show? How is that possible?
It's my first time being a great Shakespeare geek. I mean, as a fan favorite. The way some people talk about Batman or anything, I'm talking about William Shakespeare's plays. Particularly back then, before I had children, I spent Shakespeare everywhere. We attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Come down to Orange County or down San Diego to see Shakespeare there. I just wondered Shakespeare. I'm still there, but I'm tired of chasing it everywhere. (Laughter) That was the basic truth of who I was then.
When Michael Reave, Frank, and I improvise Gargoyles the character who will eventually be in charge of Macbeth, we started with this idea of seeking out the enemy of Goliath, a man who had not great power, but was a great warrior, and used technology. We thought in terms of Batman, if he was bad. I wanted this character to meet Goliath, so we said, “What if he comes from Scotland, like Goliath? What if he was the medieval king of Scotland, and they came from the same period? ”Making him Macbeth gave him the name cachet.
Afterwards Michael and I went to town there, bringing Puck and Oberon along with Titania. We made a story about this Othello, brought Weird Sisters and all kinds of stuff. Some of that has been me, without a doubt., And some of them are writers working on the show, seeing that if they throw Shakespeare into a script, it would make me happy. And I might say yes to it. They were just rebelling against me, really. I knew it, but it worked. (Laughs) Because I was actually a year old for a fan.
It just kept blooming. We somehow decided, "Let's just lean on it," because it brought us a lot of reason. We had plans to do things with the characters they came from Tornado, and in the comic series I did for Slave Labor Graphics. I really relied on things to come from Henry IV and Henry V, with Falstaff and Doll and soon, with all those characters from history playing.
There were a rumors back in 2018 that Jordan Peele loved making the big screen Gargoyles. Talk to her?
Ngicabanga ukuthi kunembile ukuthi ubenesifiso, kepha angikwazi ukukhuluma ukuthi lezo zingxoxo zihambe kanjani. Ngithinte inhliziyo naye ku-Twitter, ngivele ngathi, “Hei, angazi uma ungazi ukuthi ngingubani…” Futhi ufana nokuthi, “Ngiyazi ukuthi ungubani!” Lokho bekuyanelisa, kepha kufinyelela lapho, uyazi? Angifuni ukulenza ngokweqile, bekufana nokuthi, uyaba Peele waseJordani, futhi nginguGreg Weisman! Ukuqonda kwami - hhayi imininingwane engaphakathi, ukuqonda kwami kuphela – ukuthi uveze intshisekelo ngesakhiwo. Futhi u-Disney akazange athi cha. Kepha ngokungasho ukuthi yebo, kuphendula umbuzo. Uyazi, abafuni ukwenqaba iJordani Peele, kodwa futhi abafunanga ukuthi yebo kuye I-Gargoyles. Ngakho-ke akuhambanga ndawo. Ngithanda ukucabanga – angikwazi lokhu, ngifuna ukukucacisa lokho – ukuthi usazimisele ukwenza okuthile ngakho uma kuvela ithuba elisha. Ngingasho nje uma kuyiqiniso lokho, anginalwazi. Kepha ngithemba kanjalo. Ngingumlandeli wakhe omkhulu. Uma kufanele ayifunde le ndatshana, ngingathanda ukusebenza naye. Kepha angazi ukuthi lokho kunengqondo kanjani.
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