We recently got a chance to chat with Josh Keaton, the voice actor who, as of late, has been lending his pipes as the titular hero in Disney XD’s The Spectacular Spider-Man. He spoke about playing the character, the laundry list of cameos, and which other characters he’d love to voice in the world of comics.
The Flickcast: Playing a character like Spider-Man has got to be a big deal for anybody who knows the character, are you a fan of the comic?
Josh Keaton: I am. I grew up as a huge fan of Spider-Man, and I’m still a huge comic book geek, so it’s definitely a really cool thing to be able to say “Hey, I’m Spider-Man!”
TF: You’re not only known for playing Spider-Man, but you also have a cool Spidey-themed ride, correct?
JK: [laughing] Oh, yea. I have a Mini Cooper, and I like how everybody puts big graphics on the flat roof, so I have the poster art from season one of Spectacular Spider-Man up there. Also, my license plate reads “THWIPP”.
TF: Very cool. Being a voice actor, do you find yourself changing demeanor between Peter Parker and his costumed alter ego?
JK: A little bit. It’s not so much a physical change in the voice as much as an attitude shift. When he’s Spider-Man, he has a lot more confidence, and at first he’s that way because he’s able to do all the things that Peter Parker can’t do, but as the show progresses it starts changing a bit where he has to play up his “dorky side” as Peter to continue to conceal the fact that he is Spider-Man.
TF: Season one has been on TV, and you just wrapped season two, is that correct?
JK: Yup, season two is about to premier on Disney XD at the end of the month (June 22) and there are going to be some really cool story arcs. There will be a gang war storyline, as well as a Master Planner arc. We’re also going to tie up a bunch of loose ends that were left hanging in the end of season 1.
The first episode of this season picks up immediately where season 1 ended with Peter Parker still looking for Eddie Brock and coming to terms with the smooch that Gwen Stacey planted on him, so some really interesting stuff coming up.
TF: There have been some pretty big names coming through the show to voice some fan favorites, from Robert Englund to Peter McNicol, was there anybody that stuck in your mind as a favorite?
JK: You know, I’ve got nothing but fantastic things to say about everybody in the cast. I’ve gotten the chance to work with so many really cool people, and people I’ve been fans of. John DiMaggio, who was Bender on Futurama, came on to play Sandman, Hammerhead, and a bunch of others, which was a blast.
Peter MacNicol does a phenomenal job as Doctor Octopus, as well as Robert Englund, who plays Vulture on the show. Tricia Helfer from BSG plays Black Cat, and really everybody else who has been apart of the show brought their “A-Game” and made it fantastic to work with them.
JK: Yea, I’ve also played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch for the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game as well as Cyclops for the X-Men Legends games. Also, I got to play Harry Osborne in a bunch of the Spider-Man movie games, as well as the animated Spider-Man: Friend or Foe.
TF: Wow, you’re all over the Marvel universe. Is there any hero or character that you haven’t gotten to play that you’ve always wanted to?
JK: I always loved Wolverine. I really love what Hugh Jackman has done with the character, but growing up, that was one character I always wanted to be, plus I’m short and I have a lot of hair [laughs]. Other than that, I was a huge fan of Punisher growing up.
I liked Green Lantern and a bunch of other DC Comics characters, but I mostly gravitated toward Marvel. I peripherally enjoy Image as well, I have a bunch of friends who are artists and creators who have done stuff with those guys as well.
TF: A lot of times, comic publishers try to tie in other forms of media into that medium. Bill Hader and Seth Meyer from SNL just came in to write a one-shot for Spider-Man, for example. Is that something you’d be interested in?
JK: Of course! Not to mention, like I said earlier, I have friends who work in the industry as artists, inkers, writers, and all of the above. I’d definitely be interested in doing something like that, and maybe get some of my friends involved–preferably some who have more experience in the area that I do–but I think it would be a ton of fun.
Season two of The Spectacular Spider-Man is now running on Disney XD every Monday, with season one coming to DVD on July 28.