After screening the Green Lantern: The Animated Series pilot episode, executive producer Bruce Timm answered questions posed by moderator (IGN Executive Editor Eric Goldman) and audience members. Timm said that they had wanted to use Hal Jordan multiple times before, but the stars only aligned to do Hal in animation now. He added that Warner Bros. Animation honcho Sam Register had been itching to do a CGI series for a while, and that Green Lantern seemed like a good fit for it.
Timm stated that he got a crash course in the limitations and abilities of CGI at the outset (while joking he’s a guy who barely knows how to read his e-mail). The show deliberately opts for more stylized CGI animation like The Incredibles or Tangled, saying of more realistic mocap CGI, “They’re trying to trick you into thinking that you’re looking at live-action, and it’s always like, ‘Well, no, I’m looking at dead people.'”. The show is more expensive than a 2D show, and it’s a constant balancing act between looking appealing and staying on budget. In response to an audience question, he expressed his enthusiasm for hand-drawn animation, drawing an extremely positive audience response.
|Even Ganthet has to ask
Bruce Timm things.
The series skips the origin story because the recent live-action movie and Green Lantern: First Flight DTV have already covered that ground. DC Comics wanted Hal to be more of a rookie, but since this was territory also covered in First Flight, the show makes Hal a relatively new Lantern with only a few years experience. They also dialed back a bit of the more extreme elements of the Red Lanterns, trying to keep them scary and threatening while staying within the bounds of a kids’ TV show. There will be an overarching story for the season, but most episodes will stand alone just fine.
Timm was coy when asked about whether other Lanterns, Green or otherwise, would appear, but he did answer that Kilowog will ask, “How many colored Lanterns are there?” in a future episode and that it will be “quite a colorful show.” He also strongly hinted that Carol Ferris will be playing a more prominent role in future episodes, tipping off the longtime comic fans to another character appearance. He added that this is separate from the “Timmverse” continuity of Batman the Animated Series to Justice League, despite fan speculation, and there won’t be too many crossovers with other branches of the DC Universe.
In discussing casting, Timm stated that he didn’t think Josh Keaton would be able to pull off Hal Jordan, but he was far and away the best audition they had. He also added that while they were hoping to steer a little clear of their obvious competition in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, they ended up casting Ian Abercrombie, who plays the Emperor from that series, as Oan Guardian Ganthet, while Jonathan Adams’ portrayal of Atrocitus ends up sounding more than a little like James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader.
A sneak preview will air on Cartoon Network on November 11, 2011, with the series premiere expected in February or March 2012. Warner Bros. Animation has released the first scene from the premiere episode:
(Movie native size: 1920 x 1080) – click “full-screen” icon in lower-right to enlarge