We here at Oohlo Labs like to keep tabs on all things superhero, and this week Tatiana Torres and I were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to talk with the creators of the animated superhero comedy SuperMansion, Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells, for the Agents of GEEK Podcast.
Senreich and Wells’ names are familiar to fans of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken; Senreich is co-creator, and Wells wrote and directed several seasons.
Now, they are embarking on the second season of SuperMansion, which is available on the streaming platform Crackle.
Senreich told the podcast that the roots of SuperMansion go back a long way.
“We were just joking around one day,” Senreich said. “Zeb writes comics as well. Why don’t we create some kind of comic book show with our spin on it. It’s the day-to-day machinations of this superhero world, showing who they are behind the scenes.”
While their greatest success has come from Robot Chicken, which is in essence an animated sketch comedy show, Wells said SuperMansion is closer to the kind of storytelling they grew up enjoying.
“That’s why you see that we like to have a little continuity in the show,” Wells said. “We are comic book fans at heart. Even though we love skewering them and having fun with them, we have the instinct to have threads that continue, and have little cliffhangers along the way, like a comic book does.”
The series features a powerhouse voice cast which includes Bryan Cranston (who is also an executive producer), Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Pine, Legion‘s Dan Stevens, and this year’s new addition, Yvette Nicole Brown.
“You always see Nicole as the lovable type, and here we’ve been able to take her in a different direction,” Senreich said. “We got to have her be a little more aggressive in this, and show her dark side a little bit, which is a fun way to go. We’ve been really blessed by the talent we’ve been able to bring on the show.”
Key and Pine earned Emmy nominations for their voice work on the show last season.
“Chris Pine, you will not recognize his voice,” Wells said. “He came out of the blue for us. He came on Robot Chicken, did a Star Trek character and two other voices, and just went crazy. He was unbelievable. So when we had this part for the main villain, they asked who we should get and I said ‘Chris Pine, trust me, he can do anything’. Keegan is a lot of fun the booth. He improvs a lot and has brought so much humanity to his character (American Ranger).”
The producers said there were other networks interested in picking up SuperMansion, but they said Crackle best understood what they were trying to achieve and allowed them the most creative freedom.
“There are a lot of different worlds, but everybody has a brand,” Senreich said. “When you create something it has to fit one of those boxes. Depending on where you sell it your idea is going to be tweaked to fit what that brand wants. It’s why we liked Crackle because they pretty much let us do exactly what we wanted to do.
“They kind of high-fived us and said, ‘We just like your voice.'”