DC TOONIVERSE: Bruce Timm Steps Down as Producer
Bruce Timm has been an integral creator in the development and evolution of the DC Tooniverse since the debut of Batman: The Animated Series, and the big news, as revealed in this article excerpt, is that he has stepped down from his supervisory position.
Interview conducted by and copyright Edward Gross
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.”
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