Having steered DC Comics’ animated output since the debut of the classic Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, Bruce Timm has stepped down from his position as DC Animation’s supervising producer, with Voices from Krypton reporting that Timm has since been replaced in the role by another veteran of the DC animated universe, James Tucker.
After co-creating the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series with Eric Radomski, Timm went on to produce Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League and Teen Titans, as well as DC’s direct-to-video feature output, including the likes of Superman/Doomsday, Batman: Gotham Knight, All-Star Superman, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman: Year One, Justice League Doom and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Parts 1 and 2. He also helped to develop Green Lantern: The Animated Series, which recently finished its run on Cartoon Network after just one season.
“Bruce had done a lot since Justice League Unlimited ended, so it’s been quite a haul” states James Tucker, who is himself no stranger to DC’s animated world having produced Justice League, Legion of Super Heroes and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, along with the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Superman: Unbound. “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.”
After revealing the change, Tucker then took a moment to discuss DC’s next round of animated movies, and how these will see a shift from straight-forward adaptations such as Year One, The Dark Knight Returns and the upcoming Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox:
“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.
“I want our movies to feel like contemporary movies you’d see in a theatre, 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?”
Update – According to The World’s Finest, Timm still remains a part of Warner Bros. Animation and is currently involved in several yet-to-be-announced projects, with Warner Home Video publicist Gary Miereanu quoted as saying: “Bruce Timm continues his amazing work at Warner Bros. He’s only taking a break from DCU films to develop more of the stuff you love. Bruce Timm is stepping away from the DCU Animated Original Movies for a bit … but he’ll be back – in a very big way.”