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Before the Justice Society of America, DC Comics' precursor to the Justice League, makes their live-action movie debut in the forthcoming Black Adam, you can get to know them in the new animated movie Justice Society of America: World War II.
Starring Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol) and Stana Katic (Castle), the super-period movie follows the modern day Flash Barry Allen (Bomer) as he accidentally travels back in time to the heat of World War II and joins the Justice Society in their fight against the Nazis. Led by Wonder Woman (Katic), the Golden Age team includes Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru), Hawkman (Omid Abtahi), Hourman (Matthew Mercer), Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos), and the original Flash, Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor). Given the high stakes, the super-team is initially wary of their visitor from the future, as you can see the exclusive sneak peek above that shows Barry storming a Nazis-held castle with the fierce Amazonian.
"He's obviously this total outcast, this interloper who's just thrust into their world," Bomer — who previously worked with Katic on Superman: Unbound — tells EW. "I think he's a fish out of water in a lot of ways, and I think he would probably be more ostracized if they weren't in the middle of a war. Once they realize that he can actually be of some benefit to them, they're much more accepting of who he is. Once they understand that his motives are indeed pure, they become much more amenable to him lending a hand."
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While they did all of their work inside a sound booth, that didn't make playing superheroes significantly easier for Bomer and Katic, both of whom admit that they got really into the action scenes.
"When I'm getting choked do I have to choke myself? Listen, yes. Do I throw myself around? Yes," Katic says with a laugh. "You know, because you want to give it the energy that you need. Sometimes you have to jump around and run around, do a couple of jumping jacks, to make sure there's an authenticity to the performance, so you look pretty goofy in the booth."
"I don't think I've ever left a recording session for a DC film where I haven't been sweaty and exhausted at the end of the day because you do have to do all of the same work you do as an actor on film," Bomer adds. "I'm in there throwing punches, kicks, whatever I think the character might be doing — getting hit, grunting, jumping all around. A really interesting for Flash in this iteration — I'm not sure if it's ever changed from this — is he's doing all these physical things but they don't strain him, he's not out of breath, except for a certain part that's unique to this movie maybe. So it was really interesting to be doing all of this physical exertion and then to kind of have to hold my breath until I was done."
Portraying the Flash and Wonder Woman in Justice Society: World War II also resonated personally with both stars. Not only is Bomer a long time DC Comics fan, but so are his kids.
"I just didn't want to let my kids down, because [the Flash] has been such an iconic figure, particularly for my our oldest son. He was obsessed with the Flash," says the White Collar alum. "I always say I do it for the kids, but really secretly I do it for myself, too, because I've been a huge fan of these characters for my whole life. But it is fun to get to share the experience with them. One of our [younger] kids in particularly is a huge DC fan....Getting to sit down and watch this with him, and get his take on anything because it is so pure and unfiltered, was so fun. This film, in particular, getting to watch it with him is a great memory we'll both have."
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To develop Wonder Woman's accent, Katic drew on her own family history, on top of studying what a Scythian, Illyrian, Thracian-like warrior woman might sound like. "I just wanted to give it a touch of my grandmothers because they survived World War II and they're my girls, so I thought I'd give it a bit of that, too," she says.
Furthermore, the Absentia actress recently had an opportunity to witness first-hand how much seeing Wonder Woman on-screen means to young girls especially. During the pandemic, Katic had to take her niece to the emergency room, and showed her Wonder Woman clips from TV and movies to calm her nerves.
"I could tell it boosted her spirits and that it gave her confidence to face what we were facing that day," says Katic. "I feel like I know how much it meant to me to be able to see a powerful, authoritative figure on-screen, how much it inspired and emboldened me, and it just gave me confidence. To see that again play out for my niece when she was in a very vulnerable position was informative, it really touched me as well. I hope that in some ways, these various renditions of Wonder Woman people are seeing out there in the world now will also offer that empowerment to audiences today."
Watch the clip above.
Justice Society: World War II is available on digital April 27 and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on May 11.
(Video provided by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)