When it came time to voice their roles in DC League of Super-Pets, stars such as Kevin Hart had to get creative.
The film was made in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when rules were so strict that voice talent recorded their parts in isolation without the aid of an audio engineer on site to set them up. Super-Pets stars Dwayne Johnson as Superman’s dog, Krypto, and Hart as Batman’s pooch, Ace — who must team up to save their superhero pals.
Producer Hiram Garcia recalls watching talent record their parts over Zoom, after being sent recording equipment to operate themselves. Hart stood out thanks to a sound booth he made out of a few mattresses and blankets in a hotel room.
“He was so clever in how he set it up, and the sound was great, but he was so hot in there. ‘Guys, I’m sweating, you’ve got to hurry up,’ ” recalls Garcia, president of production at Johnson’s banner, Seven Bucks Productions. “He was so hot inside the booth. It was that kind of ingenuity, working with our engineers, doing what they could do to set up the best situation to optimize the sound.”
Johnson and Seven Bucks boarded Super-Pets while they were in production on Johnson’s Netflix film, Red Notice. Filmmakers Jared Stern and Sam Levine knew they wanted someone big to voice Krypto, and after landing Johnson, the dominoes started to fall in terms of assembling the rest of the team, including Kate McKinnon as the evil guinea pig Lola and John Krasinski as Superman.
Among the big casting swings was going after Keanu Reeves for the role of Batman. Seven Bucks had flirted with Reeves for a number of live action projects before, including Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. After a Zoom call, he was in.
“He just got it. He loved the idea and understood what we wanted to do with Batman,” says Garcia.
Super-Pets arrives just months before Johnson’s live-action DC film, Black Adam hits theaters on Oct. 21. Even though Johnson’s frequent collaborator Hart had nothing to do with that project, he still made his way into last week’s Comic-Con panel. When a child asked Johnson if Hart was jealous about Black Adam, the actor retorted that yes, Hart was always jealous. Johnson added that he was pretty sure the child was already taller than Hart, too.
Says Garcia of Hart: “He’s such a good sport, and the guys can’t resist any time they can throw each other under the bus, no matter how far apart they are.”