INTERVIEW: Myles Langlois on Adult Swim’s “Apollo Gauntlet” – Animation Scoop

INTERVIEW: Myles Langlois on Adult Swim’s “Apollo Gauntlet”

Canadian Myles Langlois is not only the creator of Apollo Gauntlet, but he also voices the title character and his #1 nemesis. What began as a one-man passion project on YouTube back in 2012 has become Adult Swim’s newest animated series.

Jackson Murphy: Apollo Gauntlet used to be a web series that began in 2012. Old episodes are available on YouTube. Tell me a little about the process of going from the web to Adult Swim.

Myles Langlois: It was kind of a slow, gradual process of getting to the right people – through friends of mine and then through people in the arts community. It eventually got to LA somehow. It’s kind of, I guess, when you post something on YouTube, you’re waiting – you think in your wildest dreams that it will reach somebody. So it reached a company called Six Point Harness, and then they showed it to somebody at Adult Swim. It’s a networking sort of thing, I guess, that happened accidentally.

JM: Well, it’s great that it’s part of the [Adult Swim] lineup. The main character, Paul Cassidy, is a Canadian ex-cop who becomes a superhero. How have your Canadian roots really influenced Paul?

ML: Probably partly my accent; my upbringing, I guess. Just growing up in a strange Canadian community my whole life. I grew up further up north than I’m living now when I was a little kid, so it was very remote, like in a mining community. And then eventually my family moved around a lot and we eventually settled in Brandon, Manitoba, which is a few hours away from Winnipeg. And then I moved to Winnipeg for probably a decade off and on.

I’m not sure how it informs it. People seem to be – I’m not sure why people are fascinated by Canadians because there’s not a lot going on around this area. But I like that people are interested.

JM: You voice Paul, and you also voice the talking gauntlets that guide him on this journey to becoming Apollo.

ML: My idea with it was that these gauntlets have probably been around for 1,000 years, and they just bond psychically to whoever puts the suit and gauntlets on. And so the gauntlets, this time, have bonded to a guy from Earth. The gauntlets can understand all his stupid movie references and things like that. He has all the same references and knowledges and watching B-movies… that Paul Cassidy does. So it’s just a slightly different thing for him. [The Gauntlet] has got a sense of humor about it – and he’s always teasing Apollo.

JM: Would you say because of all the movie references that diehard B-movie fans should really watch this show?

ML: I would hope so. I would hope everybody would watch it (laughs), I mean – to be honest. But I’m a huge movie guy. I grew up, and a lot of people did – a little kid could go to a video store and rent “Nightmare on Elm Street”. It was a weird time. I think they’re more careful with laws now about what people can watch. I just being a little kid and renting five horror movies and watching them and just loving the s*** out of it.

JM: And of course – so many big superhero blockbuster movies out these days: “Wonder Woman”, “Spider-Man”. What do you think the main attraction is towards a superhero these days? Obviously, superheroes have been around for a long time. But what do you think it is about right now that makes a superhero so appealing to people?

ML: I don’t know. Like a lot of things, things seem to go in waves – like different trends and different fads. I don’t know – I always think people want – they want heroes. They always want some form of hero, and it goes through different iterations. You’ll get strange ones, like Death Wish and things like that – where there’s some guy just shooting everybody.

JM: And when people think of the word Apollo – a lot of times what comes to mind is the Greek god Apollo. Would you say there are a lot of connections and comparisons between the Greek god Apollo and Apollo Gauntlet?

ML: I read up a lot on it, actually, and there is some references to the mythology. I have…a Greek Mythology book and I was reading about it, so there is – Apollo and Daphne. Daphne’s the love interest or female hero in it. I did research, but it’s very loose. I’m not referencing it directly, but I like that kind of stuff. I’m really into mythology – especially older… mythology of heroes. I read a lot about that kind of stuff. There is – those elements in there… obviously a little different in my version because it’s goofy. But yeah – definitely.

JM: With Paul being an ex-cop, are there any experiences with cops from your past that influences something funny that happens to Paul during the show?

ML: I wouldn’t say. I mean – probably I think some point at my life I was lost and trying to think of what I wanted to do. And… I actually considered being a cop at some point, but I realized how badly that would work. I would be the McNulty from “The Wire” – where he rubs everyone the wrong way and then gets put on some detail that’s far away. Like I would’ve been sent to Alaska or somewhere.

I guess I understand all this stuff about cops doing bad things. But I’ve always had this feeling that… they’re necessary. If you have a problem – and it’s come-up in my life – if you need help, there’s somebody you need to call. I guess in mixing that in with what goes on sometimes – like bad things with cops – I still have that thing where I’m thinking “But we need… we need to be able to call someone if something goes horribly wrong.” I have a respect for it.

JM: Very true. We do need somebody – if we ever get in trouble a little bit.

ML: (laughs) I mean, think about it. What if you couldn’t call somebody. We’d be screwed.

JM: My thoughts exactly! You are a self-taught animator. Who were some of your inspirations when you realized animation was your passion for life?

ML: Well it started with moviemaking. My brothers and my friends and I used to make a whole bunch of videos. We tried to go into moviemaking, which we did – we started making movies and things like that – but it just seemed like such a complex and expensive process that at some point, we started thinking, “Yeah – I don’t know if this is gonna work out.” And, you know, actors don’t show up and things go wrong.

At some point, I just thought, “What’s a good way to make something that you don’t have to rely on a whole bunch of people?” Because people can be unreliable. I started just experimenting with different animation programs and found one that I really like. I stumbled my way through it and made a whole bunch of episodes for YouTube.

JM: And how would you say that since it began 5 years ago… you have evolved over that time? And for those who watched the web episodes, what are they going to expect with the new series?

ML: It’s a little more structured. Better actors – ’cause I was doing all the voices on the original one, so there’s actual, real actors that are involved in this one – which I think is a big plus because… there’s only so many different voices I can do. So getting actual actors to play the different characters is a huge leap forward, I think. The original series – I was making it up as I went along, so I didn’t really know where it was going. And it did work out really well. I figured out how to finagle that.

But this time I sat down and wrote… plot lines, scripts and there’s an arc through the season. So… in that way I think it’s – I guess I think of “Evil Dead 1” and “Evil Dead 2” in a strange way, because it’s almost like a remake but… kind of fixing things a little bit, like “Oh, I should’ve done this the first time” and “This is what I’ll do this time.” There’s more polish on it, which I like. It looks better and there’s a lot more effort put into it.

JM: One of those actors is Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob. And because you voiced all of the characters originally… was it tough for you to say goodbye to voicing some of these characters?

ML: No. Like I said, I was kind of only doing all the voices because… just out of necessity. I just wanted to do something by myself. But I was relieved and happy to get all these great actors to do other characters. And there’s a lot of new characters in the new series. I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to attempt that many different voices. No I was very happy about it. I was spending a lot of time writing the scripts, too, so anything that someone else could do was a welcome relief to me.

JM: You can watch “Apollo Gauntlet” on Adult Swim starting July 9 at 12:15 am. But all 6 episodes of the first season are online two days before the show debuts on July 7. It’s a really cool, but interesting and modern decision to do that.

ML: Yeah… it makes a lot of sense in my mind. I watch a lot of things that way. I think a lot of people binge-watch stuff. I guess they’re probably just experimenting with what works better. I mean, that’s great, though. It’s the best of both worlds in a way. It’ll be actually on air, but people can just watch them at their leisure, too.

JM: Is there another passion project of yours in mind for the future?

ML: I don’t know. I’ve been so focused on this. I definitely have other ideas. But I’ve been so focused on this. It’s all I’ve been thinking about, I guess. (laughs) I wanted to make sure it was as good as possible. I’ve made a lot of other cartoons and… Pilots and things – [I’ve] posted them and stuff like that. But this is my favorite one. I love to focus on this one.

Jackson Murphy

Jackson Murphy

Jackson Murphy is a movie critic and entertainment columnist. He is the creator of the website Lights-Camera-Jackson.com, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio.
Jackson Murphy
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