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Bruce Timm steps down. But he’ll be back?

March 30th, 2013 by Irwin Fletcher 1 Comment

Legendary cartoonist Bruce Timm, who was responsible for a majority of the DC animated universe movies over the past 20 years, has stepped down as supervising producer at Warner Bros. Animation to work his own projects. He’s been replaced by James Tucker, a force in his own right. Tucker was a producer of Justice League, Legion of Super Heroes and Batman: The Brave and the Bold and is also credited as a director on Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Legion of Super Heroes and the upcoming Superman Unbound. Here’s what Tucker told the fan site Voices From Krypton:

“Bruce had done a lot since Justice League Unlimited ended, 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.”

Bruce Timm started at Warner Bros. in 1989 and worked on the great Tiny Toon Adventures before partnering with producer Eric Radmoski to create the classic Batman: The Animated Series, and in doing so gave life to the DC animated universe. It aired from 1992 to 1995, and then led to Superman: The Animated Series and Batman: The New Adventures, both of which Timm developed with Alan Burnett and Paul Dini. Bruce Timm also co-created Batman Beyond, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. His most recent TV work was as executive producer of the fan favorite Green Lantern: The Animated Series, which was recently canceled. Timm was also responsible for many of  Warner Bros. Animation’s straight to video movies, from 2000’s Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker to what is his final DC animated project Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

I wish there was a way to find out how many comic book fans he created with his work. As my friend Alison says ” He was an ambassador to the DCU for a lot of people, especially my generation. BTAS & STAS were gateways.” I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan, so Timm’s work was my DCU. I will fight anyone who says Kevin Conroy is not Batman. Anyone who follows up Timm has the same problem as someone who follows up Batman, the man is a legend.

As for Tucker he’s got some ideas:

“I’d love to use more of a variety of characters, but that’s something I don’t have control over. 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…

Our challenge 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.”

While that sounds interesting…..

Bruce Timm is truly one of the greatest superhero storytellers ever, in any medium. To me this is the end of an era. Good Luck Mr. Timm and thank you.

Um so there’s an update: According to the website

“Timm is taking a break to work on his own projects but once WB gives him the “ok” he’ll quietly begin serious efforts on a secret project for Warner Bros. Animation,  an individual inside the Burbank offices  has told them. Basically, Timm will be creating a new Justice League cartoon series that will be firmly set within the DC Animated Universe or Timmverse as many lovingly call it. Exactly when the series will debut depends on WB’s plans for the Justice League live-action film.

Do I have your attention yet?


I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.