This past Sunday, Adult Swim debuted its latest animated series, “Black Dynamite”, which is based on the characters and world co-created by Michael Jai White, who plays the titular character in both versions.
For the new animated series, which is being directed by Carl Jones (“The Boondocks”) and has White reuniting with his fellow Black Dynamite feature film co-stars Tommy Davidson, Byron Minns, Cedric Yarbrough, and Kym Whitley as well as working alongside “Black Dynamite” newcomer Orlando Jones, we find the titular character facing down a lot more enemies than “The Man”, including the likes of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Amazon Moon Bitches and so much more.
Check out the highlights from our roundtable interviews with director Jones and “Black Dynamite: The Animated Series” stars White, Davidson, Jones and Whitley below, and make sure to catch the show when it airs on Adult Swim on Sunday nights at 11:30 pm ET/PT.
Question: Are you guys planning on keeping true to the spirit of the original movie with this new television series?
Michael Jai White: Absolutely, but there’s going to be a bit more of a ‘family’ dynamic in the animated version; in the movie, not really, but in the series, we gotta keep the family together so to speak, and there are a whole lot of fun ideas that we had for the show so there’s a lot of surprises in store this first season.
Question: What made you decide to turn this film into an animated series?
Carl Jones: On my end, when I saw the movie I thought it was the perfect vehicle for an animated series; I mean, there is already some animation in the movie, and I know it was something that Michael and everyone was already thinking about, too. So when they reached out to me and we put our minds together, we just started building on what the concept would be. Then I took it to Adult Swim and it went from there.
Michael Jai White: It was one of those things that after the movie, I had worked with Carl doing voices on “The Boondocks” and that ended up being a natural link for us to work on this project. It was a no-brainer; I just felt like ‘yeah, let’s get this done!’ (laughs).
The great thing about this animated world is that there is the fantastical element now; we can take Black Dynamite back in time, he can even go to the future, we can take him to the moon, he can fight Elvis, Amazon moon bitches, giant gorillas- whatever. It’s all open.
Question: Can you talk a bit about your approach and working with Carl (Jones) on this show?
Orlando Jones: We had a really good director; Carl would just let us do what we do. All of us worked separately, never in the booths at the same time, so we had to go in knowing our co-stars; but we did and Carl knew what we did, too. He knows our chops. We all have our own processes; he knew how we all worked and just extracted all of this craziness that you’ll see right out of us.
Question: So do you guys go farther than other Adult Swim shows then?
Tommy Davidson: This is like “The Boondocks” on steroids (laughs).
Orlando Jones: Yeah, I don’t mean any disrespect, but this is going to go a lot farther than anything anyone has seen before. Not on “Family Guy,” not on “The Simpsons,” not on “The Boondocks”- not anywhere. You begin to question whether or not you should even read certain lines because there’s no way they were going to make it to air.
Kym Whitley: There were so many of Honeybee’s lines that I was just like ‘there is no way, NO WAY, any of this is going to make it on the network.’ But I think it did. We haven’t seen everything, but I don’t think they cut a ton of stuff.
Question: Do any of you have a favorite moment from this season that fans should keep an eye out for?
Kym Whitley: I would say that mine would have to be on the season premiere that involves me and Michael Jackson at the very beginning (laughs). It cracks me up.
Tommy Davidson: It’s hard to pinpoint a moment because we did so many sessions for this season. All I know is that a lot of good stuff happened; I don’t know if all of it will make the show because a lot of it was so insane, but I recorded a lot of good stuff. I was cracking up daily because of just how far we push it. I think we’re going to be getting some letters, that’s for sure (laughs).
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