How Atlanteans Speak in Zack Snyder's Justice League: EXCLUSIVE Interview w/ Dr. Christine Schreyer
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
(By Ben Wan)
After creating Kryptonian for Man of Steel, Dr. Christine Schreyer returned to the Snyderverse to develop a dolphin-like language for the Atlanteans in Zack Snyder’s Justice League! Now, in an exclusive interview, Dr. Schreyer returns to our show to reveal how she came up with the language during the pandemic, whether Amber Heard actually spoke Atlantean in the movie, and a translation of WHAT exactly Mera and the Atlanteans are saying! Andrew then takes over to dive into the history of Atlantis, comparing the mythological origins to the version in Aquaman and the DC Universe. CHAPTERS 0:04 Matt Herring GoFund Me Bumper Please donate what you can to our friend and fan of the podcast Matt Herring, who is battling Stage 4 colon cancer. Click here for Matt Herring's GoFundMe 1:45 “Aquaman Teaches Aqualad A Special Lesson” with Andrew as Aquaman, Ben as Aqualad/Garth, and guest Zachary Jackson Brown as the Willem Dafoe Vulko This sketch is a sequel to a previous sketch in which Andrew’s Aquaman and Zack’s Vulko discussed Arthur’s preference for shitting in the ocean:
6:01 Episode Intro 7:06 Interview with Dr. Christine Schreyer & Russell Crowe's Deleted Scenes Speaking Kryptonian This is actually Dr. Schreyer’s second time on our show. She was previously interviewed by Andrew and former SSYSK co-host Wolfie about her work on Man of Steel in this interview:
Around the 10:00 mark, she discusses that Russell Crowe actually spoke Kryptonian in deleted scenes of Man of Steel, with his character addressing Clark Kent as “my son” in Kryptonian. This is presumably when Clark meets Jor-El in the Scout Ship. Because it “didn’t flow with everything else that had been previously shot,” it was cut from the film.
We speculate that the idea was similar to what we saw in John Byrne’s The Man of Steel run, where the scenes on Krypton were done in English for the audience, but when Clark encounters the hologram Jor-El, he only hears Kryptonian until the hologram touches him and allows the programming to translate.
Understandably, this may have been cut due to the fact that the human characters, like Lois Lane and Martha Kent, interact with Kryptonians later (either in the form of the Phantom Zone villains or the hologram Jor-El) and would have needed some kind of translator to understand them as well in order for this to be consistent. 9:09 How Dr. Schreyer Worked with Zack Snyder on Atlantean During the Pandemic Zack Snyder first revealed his plans for the Atlantean language in a Vero post, after the release of the 2017 Justice League but before he was able to release his cut of the film. During a discussion on whether he had the idea of Mera forming a bubble around Arthur in order to talk to him, he shared the following: "I invented that because I don't like talking underwater. It makes no sense. I believe Atlantean's underwater language would be a series of clicks and squeaks. Never got a chance to work it out.” Snyder got his chance when WB allowed him to finish post-production on his cut for Justice League, which gave him time to contact Dr. Schreyer to come up with the Atlantean language that the actors could record and add to the film. Since the scenes had already been shot, the language had to be done without having to move the mouth. Funny enough, there IS precedent in the comics for an Atlantean language. In Aquaman #3 (1986), (written6 by Neal Pozner, art by Craig Hamilton, inks by Steve Montano), Arthur’s mom, Queen Atlanna, is described as talking in “some foreign tongue.”
11:16 The Original Dialogue for the Atlanteans 13:32 The Main Linguistic Features of Atlantean & The Original Influence of Hawaiian 19:39 Dr. Schreyer’s Work on Alpha (2018) 23:52 What Are Mera and the Atlantean Guard Actually Saying? Andrew edited the scenes featuring the Atlantean language in Zack Snyder’s Justice League with subtitles, from the translations that Dr. Schreyer provided for us:
27:18 Schreyer's Collaboration on Kryptonian, What Zod’s Symbol Means in Kryptonian in Man of Steel, and the Origin of The House of Ron Dr. Schreyer later told us via email that the Zod shield actually means Discipline & Physicality
31:14 Dr. Schreyer’s Work on Power Rangers (2017) 33:36 Who Performed Atlantean for Mera and the Atlantean Guard? Dr. Schreyer mentions that they weren’t sure if they could get Amber Heard to record Atlantean, so they brought in Amanda Troop, a voice actress who previously voiced Maggie Sawyer in the animated film The Death of Superman. You can check out here IMDB here. Heard was able to record, however (potentially around the time of the reshoots where she was added into the Knightmare epilogue). 36:00 Atlantis: Greek Mythology vs. DC 37:24 Real Life Origins of Atlantis From the historian Orser: “The legend of Atlantis is a story about a moral, spiritual people who lived in a highly advanced, utopian civilization. But they became greedy, petty, and "morally bankrupt," and the gods "became angry because the people had lost their way and turned to immoral pursuits, As punishment, he says, the gods sent "one terrible night of fire and earthquakes" that caused Atlantis to sink into the sea.” 42:05 Just WHERE is Atlantis? 45:05 Conspiracy Theory: Atlantis and the Nazis! Turns out, Ben was NOT actually that far off with the Indiana Jones connection. This was actually a video game called Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. 49:01 How BIG is Atlantis? 49:48 Atlantis and...Martian Refugees?? 54:35 Atlantis in DC Comics 58:46 Break: No More Whoppers Promo, Merlin Meets The Indeed Wizard Sketch, Patreon Promo, and Dr. Schreyer Bumper This is a promo for another podcast in the Greenlit Podcast Network, No More Whoppers, which you can find here. The sketch stars Andrew’s original character The Indeed Wizard meeting Merlin, played by Ben. This version of Merlin is the one played by Nicol Williamson in the 1981 film Excalibur, which is where the line, “A dream to some. A nightmare to others.” comes from, along with this Merlin’s preference for wearing a metal “bowl” on his head rather than the traditional Merlin cap. This was recorded for our Patreon episode where we covered Excalibur’s influence on Zack Snyder’s films, which you can find out here after joining our Patreon.
Merlin’s Jay Garrick reference is a callback to our episode on The Flash here:
1:03:32 Return from Break: The Cities & Locations of Atlantis 1:15:32 What Atlantean Look Do You Prefer: Aquaman or Zack Snyder's Justice League? 1:18:10 The Different Versions of The Atlanteans 1:24:51 Atlantis As A Metaphor From historian James Romm: "He [Plato] was dealing with a number of issues, themes that run throughout his work. His ideas about divine versus human nature, ideal societies, the gradual corruption of human society—these ideas are all found in many of his works. Atlantis was a different vehicle to get at some of his favorite themes." From the American poet Edith Willis Linn Forbes (1865-1945): "The Lost Atlantis" stands for idealisation of the past; the present moment can only be treasured once that is realised. From H.G. Wells: “There is magic in names and the mightiest among these words of magic is Atlantis… it is as if this vision of a lost culture touched the most hidden thought of our soul.” 1:29:37 Closing: Fan Comments and Social Media Promotion For our $5 Patreon tier members, we did an additional episode on the animated film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, another interpretation that has Arthur Curry meet the Justice League and learn to embrace his Atlantean heritage.
Prepare yourselves for a DEEPER DIVE into Atlantis with our coverage of Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, comparing the comic to the animated movie as well as to the DCEU. We discuss the different versions of Orm, Mera, and Vulko and end up comparing Orm to his potential Marvel counterpart...Loki? We then address the latest rumors on Matt Reeves's The Batman as well as our reactions to the suits for Shazam 2 and Batwing in Batwoman. Check out the episode and join our $5 Patreon tier here. THANKS TO OUR GUEST: Dr. Christine Schreyer Twitter: twitter.com/C_Schreyer Website: https://christineschreyer.ca/ THANKS TO OUR “VULKO:” ZacharyJacksonBrownArt (who also did the thumbnail) IG: @zacharyjacksonbrownart https://www.zacharyjacksonbrownart.com/ Please record us a “bumper” saying “You’re listening to Superhero Stuff You Should Know” and send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org Also to any animators- we’d love to see our sketches animated. Please include #SuperheroStuffYouShould Know IN the video Become a part of the Shasta Army on our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/m/superherostuffpod SuperHouse on iTunes: https://apple.co/3ctz4lN Please leave us a review in iTunes! SuperHouse on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2yq3Kpo INSTAGRAM: @superherostuffpod TWITTER: Twitter.com/SuperhousePod FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/SuperHousePod Please join our Facebook group where you can interact with us and other fans! YOUTUBE: YouTube.com/c/SuperHousePodcast Please email us at: SuperHousePodcast@gmail.com ANDREW’S CHANNEL/WEBSITE: IG: ThunderWolfDrew Twitter: ThunderWolfDrew YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/thunderwolflives Website: www.thunderwolflives.com/ BEN'S CHANNEL/WEBSITE: IG: BenWanWriter My Cat’s IG: AlfiePennyworthCat Earl E. Bird- upcoming children’s comic: http://earl-e-bird.com YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6nG7A354pour2CUw0co3Ug Website: http://www.benwanwriter.com SUPERHOUSE MERCH: http://superhousepod.redbubble.com/ Teepublic Threadless