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411 Movies Interview: Adrian Petriw

September 3, 2008 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is now available in stores on DVD courtesy of Lionsgate. This is the first animated Marvel Studios/Lionsgate direct-to-DVD release since Doctor Strange a while back. Next Avengers is also the first one to be released with a PG rating in a new story featuring new, original characters.

In a world where many of the original Avengers have been killed by Ultron, Tony Stark takes it upon himself to raise their children and keep them safe from the evil android. Ultron’s seeking out to eradicate all human life, and that includes James Rogers (Son of Captain America and Black Widow), Torunn (the daughter of Thor), Azari (son of the Black Panther), and Pym (son of Giant-Man and The Wasp). But there’s another rebel hero afoot, that being the new Hawkeye, Francis Barton. The voice of Hawkeye in the new animated movie, Adrian Petriw, recently took the time to answer my questions on the fun super hero/action adventure story.

Jeffrey Harris: You play Francis Barton, the son of the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton, in NEXT AVENGERS. So knowing that Clint Barton is the father of Francis, do you have any idea on who the mother might be?

Adrian Petriw: To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it! Thematically this story focused on the “passing of the torch”, if you will, from the previous Avengers to the Next, so Clint Barton becomes an important figure and motivation for Francis in the film. As for his mother, maybe that will be explored in the adventures to come!

JH: It’s interesting because Francis has a haircut/colour that closely resembles two other characters in the Marvel Universe. Magneto and Magneto’s son, Quicksilver. So this could quite possibly mean that Magneto or Quicksilver is the mother of Francis Barton . . . or maybe it’s Magneto’s daughter, the Scarlet Witch (aka Wanda Maximoff) 😉 . Any thoughts on this theory?

AP: My main thought would be that Magneto and Quicksilver, being men, are unable to bear children… Unless they have a mutant power we have yet to discover… I smell a sequel to “Junior”;)

JH: Hawkeye/Francis has a very flirtatious relationship in this movie with Torunn, the daughter of Thor. Do you think if you met a girl who had the power to crush you like a pebble or could mess you up with an Asgardian sword as well as being the daughter of an Asgardian God would have a negative affect on your attraction to her?

AP: I would have to say it would be a double edged sword (Bad Pun). On the one hand, she’s the daughter of Thor. So, you know, awesome. On the other hand, she’s the daughter of Thor. If she breaks her curfew I’m going to have one heck of a hammer coming down on my head.

JH: The original Hawkeye in the comics started as a villain for Iron Man before becoming a hero and joining the Avengers. Throughout the years Hawkeye typically served the role of being the rebel, hotshot, and wisecracker in the team. Francis as the new Hawkeye in this story serves a very similar type of role in this story, as well as being the leader of a group of human resistance against Ultron. Do you like playing the hotshot rebels or more the characters who are more dedicated to order and playing by the rules like maybe a Captain America or a Cyclops?

AP: The rebels are the coolest. I mean, to use Star Wars as a reference, which I frequently do, everyone has plenty of respect for Luke and all he faces in the course of the trilogy, but in the end we all want to be Han. Hawkeye was always the coolest Avenger to me because it takes guts to be the rebel and the hotshot when your peers are the likes of Iron Man and Captain America. It’s no different for the young Hawkeye in this film. He may be 17, but he’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe with Tony Stark or Ultron himself if it comes down to it. So I’d say that while Captain America and Cyclops have their own attractive qualities, it’s the rebels that are the most fun.

JH: How did you get the role of Francis Barton/Hawkeye?

AP: It was the first Marvel project I had auditioned for, but I think that my familiarity with the comics helped a lot with my approach to the role. I knew that the son of Hawkeye would need to have that rebellion and edge in him, so that gave me a good base from which to start. That’s where my side of it ends and I guess the powers that be decided I’d make a good Hawkeye!

JH: Is there any particular line or sequence in the movie you found particularly difficult, or “Wow, that’s going to put some stress on the voice box”?

AP: Being my first animation project, I was taken aback at first that my voice was holding out so well throughout the record. Then the big climactic fight scene came, and I had to do all the “HYAAA!” “OOPH” and “rrRRRAA!!!” ‘s a hundred times over. Being my first superhero film, I gave it all I could, and needless to say my voice dropped a couple octaves for the next few days. It was totally worth it.

JH: Do you have a favorite line as Francis Barton/Hawkeye?

AP: I think it goes something like “So that’s how you know so much about Ultron, cause you’re his Daddy?” I felt like John Wayne when I said that. Plus Hawkeye is 17 and he’s got the guts to say that to THE Tony Stark.

JH: Who is your favorite Marvel Universe or comic character?

AP: It’s always changing, but my childhood favourites were Batman and Wolverine. Throw into the mix Iron Man, Spider Man and The Shadow. Is it cheating if I named 5?

JH: Any crazy stories to tell during the recording of this movie?

AP: It was pretty tame to be honest, in a good way. Everyone was just so excited to be doing it. I guess the craziest thing was that on my second day of recording I was also working on two other projects and had been awake and acting for 36 hours or so. Special thanks to coffee and candy bars.

JH: Is Francis Barton/Hawkeye a character you think you might be playing again soon? Any ideas for a Next Avengers sequel?

AP: I hope so! It was so much fun, and after seeing how great the film turned out, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. As for a sequel, Ultron has left quite a mess for the Next Avengers to clean up. Who knows what allies or villains might be waiting for the gang back in the city!

JH: Were you a big fan of cartoons or animation before you got this role? Do you have any favorite cartoons or animated shows?

AP: I am the biggest fan of cartoons! Bugs Bunny, The Simpsons, Batman The Animated Series, the X-Men animated series, He-Man, GI-Joe, Transformers… I could keep on going.

JH: If you had your pick of the entire Marvel Universe canon, and you could play just
one, who would it be? Extra points if it’s D-Man (Just kidding).

AP: Iron Man. Hands down. For me, he’s one of the few who is just as cool outside his suit.

JH: If in real life, Fred Tatasciore, the voice of the Hulk, got into it with you in an actual fight, what do you think would happen?

AP: I would start by saying, “Hey Fred, nice to meet you! Why are we fighting?”. He would probably respond by absolutely destroying me.

JH: Any Marvel Comics or comic books you are reading at the moment?

AP: I’m currently finishing Ultimate Iron Man.

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow featuring Adrian Petriw as Hawkeye is now in stores on DVD and Blu-ray. The next Marvel/Lionsgate animated movie set for release is the Hulk VS. Wolverine/Hulk VS. Thor big brawl combo due out in January of 2009. Lionsgate will also be releasing the new animated series, Wolverine And The X-men for home entertainment hopefully next year. It’s a great time to be a Marvel animation fan right now. For those of you who were burned by X-men 3: The Last Stand, Wolverine And The X-men is what you will want to watch.

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Jeffrey Harris
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