Bruce Timm Steps Down!
There’s a change coming to the DC Tooniverse, and not just with the cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, but in terms of the continuing series of made for Blu-ray/DVD films that began with Superman Doomsday in 2007 and will next be represented by this May’s Superman Unbound. Most notably, Bruce Timm, who has been guiding the vast majority of things DC animated since the debut of Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, has stepped down from his position as producer, initially to have focused his energies on GL and, more significantly, to develop some of his own projects. Stepping into his place as supervising producer is James Tucker.
Tucker, of course, is no newbie to this world having served as producer of Justice League, Legion of Super Heroes and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He’s also been credited as a director on Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Legion of Super Heroes and, currently, Superman Unbound.
“Bruce had done a lot since Justice League Unlimited ended,” explains Tucker, “so it’s been quite a haul. I can’t speak for him, but I think going out on Dark Knight Returns was a special thing for him. If he was going to make the break, that seemed like a good time.”
Tucker emphasizes that his goal is to keep things going in the “right” direction, living up to the reputation of what’s preceded him in this role. At the same time, on a personal level, he hopes to “shake things up a bit.”
“I’d love to use more of a variety of characters, but that’s something I don’t have control over,” he says. “Granted Dark Knight Returns was long overdue to be adapted and I’m glad they did it and did it superbly. But beyond that, I’m not really interested in replicating, image by image, word for word, something that was in a comic book, because you can’t replicate that experience or feeling. You’re basically getting a secondary experience, so you have to make it your own in order to make it work as a movie. Creating films in which people are going through it with a checklist saying, ‘Okay, they took that out, they took that out…” I’m not interested in doing anything like that.”
For some fans who have been following the animated films, there is a growing frustration over the fact that the vast majority of the flicks center around Batman or Justice League, and then Superman, with many other characters not getting the same kind of opportunity to be featured. Of course there have been attempts, most notably with Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and even the collection of short films, DC Showcase, but the responding sale figures didn’t support the idea of such forays. Tucker, for his part, believes that there’s a creative way around this particular challenge.
“I can’t go into specifics,” he says, “but I have a feeling when we announce our next slate of movies, people are going to be very excited because we will be using Batman, Superman and Justice League as a gateway to exposing other characters.”
One example he can refer to is the already announced Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, which will take a Flash-centric approach. “I can’t think of any other classic DC stories that I want to adapt, and I’m not big on adapting stuff anyway. Once you’ve done Dark Knight Returns, that’s the ultimate DC adaptation. So my attitude is, ‘OK, this leaves me open to doing interpretations of characters and stories,’ so what we’ll be doing with Flashpoint is kind of changing the dynamic a little bit. Doing things that are based on characters and situations from the comics, but not literal adaptations. They’ll be more like original stories along the lines of what we did with Green Lantern: First Flight and Wonder Woman. There won’t be as many literal adaptations. That’s a step in the right direction, because this is a Flash focused story, and it’s probably the only Flash focused story that would sell, because there is a version of the Justice League involved.
“Our challenge,” he continues, “is that people want us to do these other characters, but if they don’t sell that threatens the whole line. So the way to do it is to be smart. If we know we’re going to use Superman, Batman and the Justice League, how do we use them as gateways to these other characters? If Batman, Superman and Justice League bring in the average person who’s not a comic book fan, once you have them you insert a Huntress or a secondary character like Oracle as a means of introducing them to more of the world. But you’re not going to be able to do an Oracle movie. Unfortunately the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman movies didn’t perform like we would have liked them to, even though I thought they were among the best we’ve done.”
There will be other changes in forthcoming releases, all part of Tucker’s desire to bring a sense of continuing evolution to the line. “I want our movies to feel like contemporary movies you’d see in a theatre,” he muses, “so that means even changing up the way we do the main titles. I want more variety in how we do things and in the types of things we do. I’d love to do a DC comic that is humorous, like Justice League International. And that could be a possibility down the line. The title Justice League is a selling point now. It works on its own so even if you don’t have Superman and Batman in it – okay, Batman’s in it and we could probably find a way to put Superman in it — it would work. Besides, we wouldn’t adapt a literal story from the run. That’s just an example of what I mean. Not every superhero movie has to be the same type of movie with the same kind of tone. There’s different ways to bend the genre. It’s good to mix up the format and not just do the same kind of heavy story. I want them to feel like different types of movies. Who wants to see exactly the same type of movie every time we do one of these?”
Timm is taking a break to work on his own projects but once WB says ‘go’, he’ll quietly begin serious efforts on something else for Warner Bros. Animation an individual inside the Burbank offices informs us. Namely, Timm will be creating a new Justice League cartoon series that will be firmly set within the DC Animated Universe or Timmverse if you will. Exactly when the series will debut depends on WB’s plans for the Justice League live-action movie as they want to launch the new cartoon around the same time as the film.
Arrow Renewed For A Second Season!
It was announced today by Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW, that Arrow has been picked up for a second season, along with Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries!
“We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and now with our new hit Arrow and fan favorite Supernatural on Wednesday night, and the continued success of The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, we’ve been able to do that,” said Pedowitz. “Not only do Arrow, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially. I’m thrilled to have all three shows returning to our schedule next season.”
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c!
Guy Gardner To Join Green Lantern: TAS, Plus Info On Next Season’s Baddie!
When Green Lantern: The Animated Series returns to Cartoon Network this September, Hal Jordan will find Earth a different place. After defeating the Red Lantern Corps. in the far reaches of space Hal looks to be in a good place but not so fast warns producer Jim Krieg. He warns “not to get too comfortable with the happiness Hal is feeling in his heart, because we’re just gonna mess up his life again.”
Hal’s life takes a turn for the worst when he finds that while he’s been out in space a new Green Lantern for Sector 2814 has been found in Guy Gardner, a character probably most famous for a run-in with Batman. “He’s like Hal Jordan cranked to Level 10,” said producer Giancarlo Volpe. “He’s that much cockier, more brash and a womanizer.”
Guy Gardner will be voiced by Diedrich Bader of Batman: The Brave and the Bold fame. But Hal’s troubles don’t end with Guy, the second season’s big baddie will be the Anti-Monitor which will reportedly cause Hal to go on a recruiting campaign for more allies.
On 18 January, 2012, The CW greenlit the pilot for a proposed Green Arrow series with Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg producing. The series, Arrow, will offer a fresh take on the character. Smallville’s Justin Hartley will not be involved in the new project. Actor Stephen Amell will portray Oliver Queen/Green Arrow in the pilot.
In Arrow, Oliver Queen will be in his late twenties. Dinah Laurel Lance will also be a featured character, though not as the Black Canary and using her middle name “Laurel.” Oliver Queen’s mother Moira is still alive in the present day, with Oliver Queen returning to “Starling City” after people believed he was dead for five years. It has been recently reported that actress Katie Cassidy will portray Dinah Laurel Lance in the pilot episode. Colin Donnell is cast as Merlyn.
NEW Clips From Green Lantern:TAS!
This show looks/is horrible.
USA Today Interview’s The Team’s Behind Young Justice & Green Lantern: TAS
This Saturday at 10 a.m. ET/PT Cartoon Network is debuting their weekly DC Nation animated block. The block will consist of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Young Justice and a series of shorts featuring Plastic Man, Doom Patrol, and Teen Titans. Also in the mix is Lauren Faust’s Super Best Friends Forever, which is based around teenage superheroines Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Girl