The voice of Peter Parker tells us what we can expect from the second season of the animated superhero series
Josh Keaton is a busy guy, most recently at work providing the lead voice on The Spectacular Spider-Man, the latest animated series featuring Spider-Man. The series goes back to the character's roots, and focuses on a Peter Parker who is still in high school, meeting up with many of his most famous supervillains for the very first time. It also focuses heavily on the turbulent nature of Peter Parker's personal life, and the challenges of balancing being a superhero with being a teenager.
We recently had the chance to talk one-on-one with Josh Keaton, and he shared with us a few highlights about the show's upcoming second season, what villains we can expect to see, why Josh would love to play a superhero in a live-action production, and what superpowers he would want to have.
Here's what Josh had to say:
We're here with Josh Keaton, who provides the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for The Spectacular Spider-Man. Thank you for your time, Josh.
Josh Keaton: Oh no, thank you for thank you for the interest.
We're going in to the second season of the show now, and obviously Peter's world has changed since the beginning of the first episode - but how has Peter himself changed? How is Peter different now then he was a season ago?
Josh Keaton: Well, he's had his powers for a little bit longer and he's had a lot of crazy situations thrust upon him. He's had to make a lot of adult decisions and grow up a lot in a very, very short period of time. And at the same time, he's also had to sort of weigh... the more he becomes Spider-Man, the more he spends time as Spider-Man, the more he kinda can't be Peter Parker as much because he's always gotta be saving somebody, he's always gotta be dealing with something and he still has to hide his identity. So, I would say the biggest change comes from the fact that he almost has to put on more of a show as it goes on for the people in his life that don't know he's Spider-Man, to kind of keep them believing that they're two different people.
With the changes to the character, is that affecting your vocal performance of him any?
Josh Keaton: I wouldn't say in terms of vocal quality that it does, I'd say that it's more of an acting thing, as opposed to changing my voice in any way. We really haven't aged him a whole lot yet, because it's only been about six months in his world, so he's not really going to sound very different. I mean, if we get enough seasons and he starts growing I'll probably start... because I pitch him up a little bit, because I am a little bit older than him. So, he might start sounding more and more like me as the show goes on, if we get enough seasons. But for right now, he's pretty much the same vocally. I mean, anything that is different in terms of the character himself is really just resulting out of the situations he's had to face so far, up to this point. You know, there's a lot different with the women in his life. He's starting to finally realize that... how much he cares for Gwen. You see that at the very end of the first season. But then, he's got all these others in his life and he has no idea how to deal with it. Because, he's like most of us at that age and he's kind of oblivious.
Speaking of that, I did see that apparently some time in the second season we're going to see things developing a bit between him and Liz Allen also. How's that going to affect Peter?
Josh Keaton: Well, I mean, there's the obvious of where things stand with Gwen, and that's obviously going to play into things. Oh, man, what else? I'm trying to think of ways to answer it without really giving anything from Season Two away, but yeah, he's gonna have to make a lot of tough decisions when it comes to relationships and he's gonna learn that he really can't be as dense as he's been.
So, in addition to the women in Peter's life, of course there the villains.
Josh Keaton: Sure.
This season, I know at the beginning we're going to see Peter trying to track down Eddie/Venom. Beyond that what are some of the other major storylines and villains that we'll get to see this season?
Josh Keaton: You're gonna see the Master Planner arc - they have a whole arc dedicated to the Master Planner storyline. You're going to obviously see Venom again, you know, he's searching for him, he's gotta find him. You're going to see a gang war arc where Silvermane - you know, he's going to be getting out of prison. And, let's see, what else, what else, Green Goblin will be making a return. That's, I think, all I can say about that. He'll be coming back in some fashion. You'll see the Sinister Six again. And you'll see Black Cat again... there'll be a lot of people coming back.
There'll also be lots of new people. There'll be Kraven, there'll be Mysterio. You're going to see cameos from other people.
You mentioned Kraven. At Comic-Con you'd talked a little bit about wanting to eventually see "Kraven's Last Hunt" played out.
Josh Keaton: Yeah! I'd love to see "Kraven's Last Hunt." I'd love to see the Sin-Eater arc. I would love to see, obviously, what eventually happens in the comics to Gwen Stacey. Because that's a huge event in Peter's life and really a pivotal moment. I would love to see all that. And Greg [Weisman]'s already said that, given enough seasons... there's certain things that probably wouldn't make it to air but, if we had enough seasons and with the direct-to-DVD movies that would come afterwards, he would love to explore some of the more mature themed Spidey stories. And this is just my personal thing, and this is not necessarily a more adult-themed Spidey story, but I would love to see The Spot. With our fight choreographers and our animation and all that - that would be one of the most bad-ass fight scenes I could hope to see. I would love to see The Spot.
Have you guys already recorded all of the second season? Or are you still recording tracks?
Josh Keaton: Season Two is already in the can, it's really just waiting to be aired. And at the moment we're just waiting on a pick-up for Season Three.
So now Josh, you're primarily, at least recently, a voice actor, but you have done some...
Josh Keaton: Recently I've been a bit lazy in terms of my on-camera pursuits. But I'm gonna be changing that. I don't wanna fall victim to the "voice actor curse."
Well, I was going to say, would you ever be interested in taking on any superhero roles in a live-action format?
Josh Keaton: I would, and that's one of the... now that I'm seeing so many other superhero films come out, it's kind of re-igniting my passion again, because I would love to do that kind of stuff. That's what I'm passionate about. I'm passionate about fantasy movies. I'm passionate about comic book movies. I'm passionate about superheroes. And movies about vengeance. And all of that - the stuff that I grew up reading. I mean, I'm so happy that, you know, Watchmen was made. And, for the most part, I loved it. My main thing for that movie was seeing how Rorschach was portrayed. Because I really felt that everything was kind of pivoting around him. And I loved the actor that they got - Jackie Earle Haley - he was fantastic.
But those are the kind of things that I'd love to do. I'd love to do live-action superheroes. And you know, I boxed for several years. I have some martial arts experience. And I like staying in shape so, it's like the logical progression. Yeah, I'll definitely be pursuing that more.
What is the one coolest moment that Peter - either as himself or as Spidey - gets to have this season?
Josh Keaton: Oh man, I can't say that! I can't say the coolest moment in a Season that has not yet aired.
Can you at least give us an episode that is a "can't miss?" Other than "all of them."
Josh Keaton: Well, yeah, as a Spidey fan, I'm stuck glued watching them. Let's see... coolest moment... coolest moment... I really can't think of one without giving a bunch of stuff away.
Fair enough. Well then, I've just got one final question for you. If you, Josh Keaton, could have one superpower, what would it be?
Josh Keaton: See, I've thought of this. And I've had a hard time choosing between invisibility at will and flying. I would probably lean more towards flying. But there's so many other things. I would love to, pretty much, have Dr. Manhattan power [from Watchmen], but then I can kinda see where that would be a problem because then you really wouldn't care about human interaction, because it wouldn't mean much to you. And I would miss that. But, you know, then I could answer every question I've ever had about the universe. I think that Dr. Manhattan-type power would be kind of awesome... to be able to create and destroy at will, and be able to teleport myself anywhere, to pretty much be that god-like would be kind of awesome.
But if I had to bump it down to just one particular thing, I'd probably want to fly. That would be awesome. Or, you know what? That might be putting myself out there too much, I think probably having Spider-Man strength and speed, you know, having all of that, that would be pretty sweet too.
So, ultimately, if you could be one superhero it would be Spidey?
Josh Keaton: Kinda like, throw the beatdown.
Well, that's all I have for you. Thank you so much for giving us your time.
Josh Keaton: Thanks again for the interest.
And we can't wait to see the episodes start airing here in the states.
Josh Keaton: Yeah, you and me both. I can not wait for them to get on the air. I've been watching my re-runs on my phone, at the gym.
Our thanks again to Josh Keaton for giving us his time. You can hear Josh providing the voice of Peter Parker on The Spectacular Spider-Man. The Spectacular Spider-Man is the latest Spider-Man animated series, produced by Culver Entertainment, a Sony Pictures Television Company in association with Marvel Entertainment. Season two of the show launches on Monday, March 23 at 7:30 PM ET/PT on Disney XD. Based on Marvel's popular web-slinger, the series hearkens back to Spidey's junior year in high school, when a not-so-typical 16-year-old named Peter Parker struggles to conceal his secret identity, endure the pressures of teenage life and combat never before seen supervillains.