It’s widely agreed that Bruce Timm’s work on the DCAU was part of the reason DC had an uninterrupted run of quality cartoons for more than a decade. But he largely stepped into an executive role, and hasn’t done a lot creatively for the DCAU, since 2006. That’s about to change, in a rather big way.
Variety is reporting that Timm and Alan Burnett, who worked together on Batman: The Animated Series, are developing Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles, a three-episode animated series streaming on Machinima and building up to the movie of the same name. Just as interesting, though, is what Timm will be allowed to get up to.
Apparently, this will be a darker, more serious take on the universe, because, well, this is DC Entertainment we’re talking about here, and also they don’t have to worry about networks complaining. Still, it’s not like Timm was ever playing with kid gloves: Batman: The Animated Series goes to some dark places with episodes like It’s Never Too Late, for example, so if there’s anybody who can make things gritty and make it work, it’s Timm.
It’s not clear if this will spin out into an ongoing series, but it doesn’t seem likely that they’re going to bring this level of talent into play for only three episodes. Truthfully, DC and Warners have done a surprisingly excellent job with their direct-to-video animation, especially recently. We’ll be curious to see how they pull this off; it’ll be released next spring.