The new Green Lantern show is a CGI space opera teaming Hal Jordan and Kilowog as intergalactic buddy cops, from the people behind Batman: The Animated Series and Avatar: The Last Airbender. There is nothing about this that's not awesome.
This show, a collaboration between DC animated universe maestro Bruce Timm and Avatar: The Last Airbender director Giancarlo Volpe is going to be perhaps the purest space opera DC has ever put on TV or film, as Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and Kilowog head into deep space to patrol the roughest corners of the galaxy. Because the movie series is focusing on Sinestro, he won't appear in the series, although it's possible they will hint at his existence. (If I had to guess, I would bet he'll make his dramatic breakout from prison in the central battery a couple seasons down the road.)
So without SInestro around to play the big bad, who will step up as the major villain? The series is turning to some recent additions to Green Lantern lore, as Atrocitus and his Red Lantern Corps will be the main adversaries for Hal and Kilowog. These rage-driven Lanterns will fight our heroes over control of various sectors, taking the series to a variety of different planets.
Just don't expect them to head to Earth anytime soon. This is very much a space-based series, which means the other major DC superheroes won't be making any appearances anytime soon. (Again, if I can speculate, this show could be the best chance for other space heroes, like Adam Strange and Captain Comet, to finally get their moment in the animated spotlight.) As for who else will appear, the producers wouldn't confirm more colorful Lanterns like Ch'p or Mogo will be involved, but the implication seemed to be there.
The show is a departure from Timm and Volpe's usual 2D work, and instead will be made in 3D CGI. Photorealism isn't the goal here, they say, and they invoked the Incredibles as a good benchmark for what they're aiming for. Now, here's the bad news – the series is still a ways off. A preview will come out in late 2011, but the series isn't slated to premiere until the spring of 2012. That limited what Timm and Volpe could show to just a few character designs, as only the first three episodes have even been storyboarded, and half the first season hasn't even been outlined yet.
It also means we don't know any of the voice cast yet, although Timm did say they will use some alums from the old DC animated universe. For what it's worth, Hal Jordan (in his one cameo appearance) and Kilowog were voiced by Adam Baldwin and Dennis Haysbert respectively, although I'm not sure we live in an awesome enough universe to expect those two to reprise their roles.
At Friday night's panel on the DC animated DVD movies, Timm showed off some footage from the hotly anticipated adaptation of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman. They showed the first five minutes, which were almost a direct translation from comics to screen of Superman's opening rescue of the solar probe.
What we saw perfectly captured the look (or, at least, as much of it as they could – Timm freely admitted replicating Quitely's style in animation was their greatest challenge yet), dialogue, and, most importantly, the feel of the original work. If this isn't the best DVD movie yet – and Timm says that it's his favorite – we'd be shocked. Best of all, this movie doesn't add any gratuitous grittiness or adult content to get the film to the usual PG-13 rating, as writer Dwayne MacDuffie left the original story pretty much as is, other than a few story cuts to turn it into a cohesive movie.
As for the future of the DVD movies, Timm and company couldn't say much beyond the existence of the next couple of movies after All-Star Superman, the Green Lantern anthology movie Emerald Knights and the adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. Even those they couldn't say much about, but they did say the "awesome" cast of Year One will be revealed soon. But they were willing to talk in general terms about other potential movies, so here's the rundown on some of the DCU's most famous stories.
Both Batman: Hush and Neil Gaiman's Sandman have been discussed as potential stories, but that's about it. Timm wants to return to the world of Batman Beyond eventually, and he confirmed we'll be hearing more from the original DCAU voice cast in the future. When asked about whether they will do an R-rated DVD movie, Timm said they actually had come very close to making one and almost got the green light for it, but they got cold feet at the last second. So if there's a great R-rated story waiting to be told, he said they're willing to tell it.
Two stories that almost certainly won't happen are Crisis on Infinite Earths, which Timm said probably couldn't even be condensed into a miniseries because it's just too gigantic, and Kingdom Come, which is so tied up with Alex Ross's art style, which can't be done in animation. He said that, if Kingdom Come ever happens, it would need to be done in CGI or live-action.