Koala Man Creators on Casting Hugh Jackman and their Animation Effects

We signed up with Michael CusackAnd the Bungee SummitAnd the Dan Hernandez About their upcoming series koala man While we were at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Concept koala man He debuted in an Australian comedy anthology series called fresh blood. The season’s episodes were also supposed to double as potential pilots for future TV series. The ‘Koala Man’ story is about Kevin, a divorced father, who spends his days at a boring job and his nights as a superhero wearing a koala mask. Originally created by Cusack, the series has now been selected by 20th Television Animation to be produced on Hulu.

The koala man The series now revolves around a family man living an unclassified identity as the titular hero with a passion for eradicating petty crime in their small Australian town of Dapto. The series casts Cusack as the voice behind the titular character but also uses talents Succession‘s Sarah Snook And the Demi Lardner as family members. Samet and Hernandez act as showrunners, having worked on projects such as Pokemon Detective PikachuAnd the Adams family 2And the central Park together.

Today’s video collider

We asked the trio what it’s like to send Hugh Jackman In the role of Big Greg, whether they got the triple threat to sing, what their influences were, and what they were excited about at Comic-Con.

RELATED: Hulu Requests Adult Animation Program “Koala Man,” Justin Roiland Executive Producer

Collider: It’s great to see you guys. So first, I just have to ask about Hugh Jackman’s participation in the show. I’d love to hear the story behind it. How will you guys get it? Was it hard to get?

Michael Cusack: Yeah, I think the story goes, we went to Hugh, because we wanted a big Australian star because this is an Australian show, so we’re aiming for the stars. I’m sure he showed it to one of his kids, and they were, you have to do it because he’s Australian specifically. Therefore, it was one of his children who convinced him to take on this role, and we are very grateful to him.

Benji Summit: Yeah, we kind of created this part of Big Greg for Hugh. As we were writing it, we were like, “Obviously this is Hugh Jackman,” because the character looks like the most Australian man in the world. Who is the king of Australia? Hugh Jackman.

Dan Hernandez: And it was also one of those things where a lot of people were telling us to lower our expectations about it. “Okay, yeah, we’ll try you know, but don’t…it’s Hugh Jackman, one of the biggest stars in the world.” Then I think it was the easiest thing we got from anyone. I loved her. he got it. He loved Michael. He just liked the show, was a participant in it. We couldn’t believe it.

So I guess there’s no singing then?

Hernandez: I wouldn’t say there is no vocals.

Samet: We’re not going to cast Hugh Jackman and we’re not going to make him sing a song.

Hernandez: He also brought in a lot of things that weren’t on the page. Just because he’s a great performer. I mean, it’s just the best among the best. But, you know, watch this space for Hugh’s singing.

Any Wolverine jokes? I have to ask.

Cusack: I mean, it’s a super show. So I think the undertones are there, but there are no direct Wolverine references. We didn’t want to seem too boyish with him.

Samet: Yeah, we wanted to be cool.

Hernandez: Yeah, we had to pretend we were calmer than we were about the whole situation.

So, Dan and Benji, you guys are models. How was it like working on this show coming from working on big projects like Detective Pokemon Pikachu?

Samet: I mean, it was great. At the same time, with our film career, we also have a long television career where we have written for a lot of shows and produced a lot of TV shows. This is the first time we show it. It’s been a few years since we first sat down with Michael, he had this idea for a show, and we developed it together. It was just such a great partnership, the three of us, like building this world, crafting the show, and bringing it all together. The movies are great, so much fun, and they’re rewarding in their own way, but when you’re browsing, and you’re in charge of everything, it’s a different feeling.

Hernandez: Well, I would also say that in television, you have the opportunity to tell a longer story. I don’t think we treat it like a feature film, I think we’re very proud of the TV format of, you know, episodic, and each episode has its own block. However, over the course of eight episodes, you get to spend a lot of time with these characters that you can’t do in a must-move, must-move movie. So I think a lot of the emotion in the character moments from episode one through episode eight, it almost creeps up on you how much you start to care about these characters and the things that happen. So I think television is a great medium in that regard. That’s why we love telling stories in a longer way.

And Michael, having played the role of Koala Man fresh bloodwhich is where we first saw it, how did you see it go from just one episode to a full show?

Cusack: Yeah, it was a really amazing experience, because moving on from what I do, which is so cruel and cunning – it was a rollercoaster train to make it more of a mainstream formula. Like, how do you do a show [that] It comes from very small and cunning roots [that goes] for a larger audience. It was really a huge learning curve for me personally, but also amazing. It’s exactly what I wanted to do as a kid, to have 20th Century Fox. It’s crazy to have an Australian show on American TV, I think that’s the weirdest part.

Yes, it will definitely introduce some people to Australia. But speaking of childhood, I know you all love cartoons. I want to know what influences you had when you were growing up? Do you have a favorite TV show or movie that has influenced you?

Samet: I’d say we’re all that old The SimpsonsI think I could have spoken for all of us, had a huge impact on our comedy, on our storytelling. This led to the release of this whole world of anime or anime for adults with an expanding audience. Yes, that would be the biggest event of my childhood.

Cusack: Yes, The Simpsons Absolutely. South Park He had a huge impact on me. you may have seen South Park When I was very young. My dad allowed me to watch it, but my mom didn’t. It was like a secret thing. what died [Stone] stringed [Parker] I did it with that and like what I got away with it had a huge impact on me as a kid. it’s a South ParkAnd the Futuramaall of that.

Hernandez: It was the same for me. But, I guess in this particular case, I really enjoyed things like X-Men: The Animated SeriesAnd the Batman: The Animated SeriesAnd the heavy metal. So it was interesting on a show like this, and it’s a superhero show and there’s a lot of action, and there’s a lot of non-comedy stuff — funny stuff, but we take it very seriously. It really worked for me after I was able to spread those diverse interests into this show.

Summit: Yeah, in particular, we’re really trying to blend the animated family sitcom that everyone knows so well at this point with a superhero as well. Those super classic cartoons. These two have never been married before, the way we do, which is really exciting.

That’s exciting, and these are some of my favorites too, so I’m glad to hear them. So, coming to Comic-Con, you’ve got a bunch of fans and collectors here. Do you guys have things to collect or things to look for here at Comic-Con?

Hernandez: Oh, I’m totally going to Comic-Con, because I probably haven’t been in five years, and definitely with the pandemic…so I decided I’d be allowed to spend all the money I had that he could have spent the previous five years basically today. I actually, wasn’t on the floor for five minutes before I dropped some money. I have a commission waiting for me from one of my favorite artists. It will be awesome. I am a huge collector. I had to promise my wife that I wouldn’t have too many things. But I might break that promise.

Samet: You’re almost certainly fine.

What about you guys?

Cusack: It’s like coming to Vegas. So you have to spend a lot of money on nonsense, and then regret it when you get home. I’m actually 10% more excited to be down to earth than all the press stuff just because I used to do it, and it hasn’t happened in years. So yeah, I’m going to buy a lot, a lot of scrap.

Hernandez: We’re going to have a shopping day soon. thus.

Samet: I have young children and I can use them. “Oh, no, I’m buying this for them. It’s not for me, these toys.”

Hernandez: It’s also Benji’s birthday. So, he’s got something coming to him. I don’t know what yet, but when I see it, I will.

Well, happy birthday! Thank you very much for talking to me koala man.

Cusack: Thank you!

Hernandez: It was a pleasure! so much fun.

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