Bruce Timm Quotes
Batman: The Animated Series
7/20/2005: "i was never crazy about how we handled catwoman either....i liked the sexy straight-up jewel thief, didn't much care for the animal-rights activist stuff (seemed cliche' somehow)...but adrienne was an excellent v.a. for her, i thought....i HATED having to make selina a blonde at wb's "request", to make her more like michelle pfeiffer (and it turned out michelle wasn't EVEN blonde in the damn movie!)...i don't know why that should be such a big deal, but i could just never wrap my head around selina being a blonde, it just didn't work for me.....other than that, i don't really know what to tell you....."
8/14/2009: "[Roland Daggett]he's definitely got some ditko in his dna (not romita) -- he's not exactly a direct homage to norman osborn per se, but his face is a kind of mash-up of osborn and baron mordo"
Fear of Victory
8/11/2004: "fortunately, we've been pretty lucky in that regard..."fear of victory", which i always considered a so-so story, was kind-of a waste of very lovely tms animation"
Mad As a Hatter
8/11/2004: "and "mad as a hatter" was just the opposite, a terrific story somewhat soured by crude animation..."
Feat of Clay Part Two
8/11/2004: "but we've actually always had very little control of where the individual episodes went, it's always been pretty much the luck of the draw....we DID manage to avert disaster one time that i can remember: "feat of clay part 2" was originally scheduled to be animated by akom...can you IMAGINE????!"
Perchance to Dream
8/11/2004: "back on topic: which do i prefer? haven't seen "perchance..." in many years, but i remember thinking the animation was fairly weak....also, we weren't crazy about the storyboard for the last act, so boyd kirkland and i re-boarded the majority of it under a very tight deadline....i remember thinking kevin was awesome (especially as the "evil" batman) and dear ol' roddy was wonderful, of course...."
8/13/2004: "ok, just got done watching "ptd"....and, well, i'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that it's remotely in "ftmwhe"'s class must not have seen it in awhile, must be reacting to their memory of it...i found it to be clumsy and heavy-handed every step of the way....the dialogue is painfully "on the nose", the animation's REALLY pretty bad, even the score seemed to be oddly inappropriate throughout....kevin's performance IS good, but i honestly think he's done better....i will say that roddy's performance is SPECTACULAR, even better than i'd remembered....but everything else, i dunno...."
10/21/2004: "also, besides the obvious "dr. moreau" references in "tyger, tyger", the mad scientist guy is designed to look like ernest thesiger, the immortal dr. pretorius from "bride of frankenstein"...some of joseph maher's line readings reminded me of thesiger, hence inspiring a visual homage...."
Heart of Steel
9/28/2010: "the nebbishy inventor guy from "deep freeze" (and "heart of steel"?) was based on (and played by) william sanderson, basically reprising his character from "blade runner""
I Am The Night
10/22/2004: "we also "cast" a young jack palance as the jazzman in "i am the night"..."
9/28/2010: "peter cushing lookalike archaeologist in the "pre-logue" in "avatar""
Discarded Episode Ideas
11/27/2004: as for that old never-produced catwoman vs. black canary BTAS story, it never got past the "vaguely-talking-about-the-possibility" stage, nothing was ever even set down on paper..."
The Adventures of Batman and Robin
A Bullet for Bullock
10/22/2004: "yep, we did indeed "cast" lee marvin as the thug in "ab4b"...."
10/21/2004: "actually, ra's is more like ROBUR THE CONQUEROR in "showdown"...get your verne rip-offs straight, mister!"
10/22/2004: "there's definitely a cock-eyed "moonraker" vibe to "deep freeze" as well...."
10/27/2004: "nitpicky addendum: apparently miyazaki-san really loves those old fleischery robots....besides LAPUTA, a VERY fleischery robot appears in one of his LUPIN tv eps...
kevin altieri (director of "deep freeze") is a HUGE miyazaki fan, so the walker-bots are kevin's homage to miyazaki's homage..."
10/27/2004: "leaving aside for the moment that you're COMPLETELY OFF-BASE about "moonraker" (more on that in a bit), walker's speech to his assembled "children" is reminiscent of drax's speech to HIS kids in "moonraker"...while "moonraker" does indeed recycle a lot of "spy's" plot and set-piece schtick -- and though drax and stromberg basically have the same evil master-plan -- there is no analogous scene in "spy"...."
5/25/2005: "actually, i thought bringing nora back to life was a nicely unexpected twist, and genuinely poignant, definitely one of the best sequences in the movie....even though it DID force us to come up with a new direction for mr. freeze, hence the controversial "head on legs" bit....but heck, we'd pretty much done the whole nora thing to death anyway, and as someone else here noted, the "head on legs" incarnation ultimately paved the way for "meltdown" (which i too think is a pretty kickass episode), so it's all good...."
Superman: The Animated Series
2/23/2006: "toyman's design is actually based on a generic ventriloquist puppet design that was fairly common from the 1940's to the 1970's (and may STILL be available, for all i know)....paul winchell's "jerry mahoney" was one such....
wait, it gets weirder: a friend of mine who used to be an editor at dark horse comics owns one of those dummies (named "george"), and takes it -- er, i mean HIM with him every time he goes on overseas trips....years ago at a party at the san diego con, he showed me and some other wba guys his "vacation photo album", filled with DOZENS of photos of "george" all around the world! we're flipping the pages and there's george at the eiffel tower, george at the sphinx, george having a gondola ride in venice, george at the collesium, george on the great wall of china, george in rio, etc etc...i swear to god, it's the coolest, funniest, most surreal book i've ever seen...so me and the guys are wetting ourselves laughing, and telling My Pal that he should try to get it actually published as a book, and he says "hey...you wanna MEET him?" and he pulls out this gym bag, unzips it...and there's george in the flesh! it was SO bizarre....
anyway, months later when it came time to design toyman for the show, we remembered ol' george and based our design on him, even down to his clothes....
long story short, toyman only bears a vague passing resemblance to big boy (i never even noticed it myself til matt put that line in "alive"), he's not even close to being a direct copy, so i don't anticipate a lawsuit...
GEORGE might come knockin' though...."
11/3/2004: "ever wonder where we got the idea to cast decidedly un-femme ed asner as granny goodness? check out "the mother muffin affair" episode of THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E., featuring boris karloff in full drag as the eponymous THRUSH agent, making goo-goo eyes at napoleon solo and sneering beeyotch-ily at april dancer....it's one of the absolute coolest (if not downright deranged) karloff performances ever...."
Where There's Smoke
10/22/2004: "here's a weird one: we caught some flak for appropriating marvel's SHIELD in the STAS ep "where there's smoke"...what people didn't seem to realize is that the SHIELD thing is just one of MANY "spy-genre" in-jokes peppered throughout "wts"...off the top of my head: the obvious nick fury and co. lookalikes....the model for curt/"nick" is a caricature of george lazenby (with "fury's" eye-patch on the WRONG EYE)....their secret underground base is a conflation of dr. no's hideout with steranko's AIM hq...the hazmat-looking techs are likewise a mix of dr. no and AIM design elements...volcana is wearing honey rider's bikini in the coda...maxwell smart's phone booth/drop-chute entrance makes an appearance...the agency's head office resembles the interor of U.N.C.L.E.'s hq (i wish we coulda worked in the communicator pens somehow!)..."jasper sitwell" does the connery hat-throw....the score is as "john barry" as we could make it....the bureau for paranormal research (and the whole "rogue govt. agency using paranormals as weapons" thing) is blatantly pinched from de palma's espionage/horror film "the fury"....i'm sure there's more, but that's all i can think of at the moment..."
10/9/2005: "we did STAS' "legacy" right around the same time dc did THEIR "superman-as-darkseid's-adopted-son" story in the comics, completely unbeknownst to us...and so on and so on...."
The New Batman Adventures
12/13/2005: "when dvd's were first being introduced into the marketplace, director butch lukic and i had several (friendly) disagreements on the subject....butch predicted that the dvd was quickly going to supersede vhs as the home video format of choice for most people, the same way music cd's wiped-out vinyl and cassettes....i was somewhat skeptical (at the time, dvd players were VERY expensive, and experts were saying it would probably be awhile before dvd recorders would be available at an affordable price)....so, while i was storyboarding the opening sequence of "joker's millions", i fired the first shot in the TNBA "dvd wars", by putting a large dvd display at the tech convention...in my original storyboard, i had a sign next to the giant dvd saying "butch sez: dvd's the next big thing!", but i think the "butch sez" bit was left out of the actual bg design (thus ruining my joke).....butch retaliated with the b.t. quote about 8-tracks....[IN "LOVE IS A CROC"]"
Over The Edge
1/2/2005: "in "over the edge", barb's impact onto gordon's car was originally staged OUTSIDE the car, with the camera aimed at the FRONT of the windshield (basically the exact reverse angle of the finished shot), with barb landing hard on the hood in the immediate foreground....it WAS kinda shocking and violent-looking, and bs&p wanted us to tone it down....so i suggested shooting the scene from the "backseat" of the car, and they went for it....now, the minute i re-drew the shot, i knew it was probably TWENTY TIMES more horrifying than the original staging, but i sure as hell didn't tell THEM that! that scene STILL makes me jump, whenever i see it..."
1/2/2005: "oh, they DO, always....in the "over the edge" case, they just didn't realise the impact would be worse....all they saw was that barb's figure was smaller and further away from the camera, thus seemingly a "softer" shot...they didn't take into account that putting the camera in the back seat makes the shot much more "real" (we've all seen things from that vantage point, whereas how many of us have driven around on the hood of a car?), not to mention the fact that we're seeing gordon's daughter smash into the hood of his car practically from his own point of view....oh, it's EVIL...sometimes we get lucky..."
11/19/2008: "don't remember if we explicitly said it on the commentary or not -- but for the record, daddy definitely knows."
Cult of the Cat
9/28/2010: "thomas blake ("cult of the cat")and diemos ("chaos at the earth's core") were both cut from christopher lee cloth"
The Ultimate Thrill
12/12/2005: ""ultimate thrill" has always been one of my favorite episodes....i watched it again last week and damn if it's not even better than i remembered (he said modestly)...."
1/23/2005: "for the record, there is, in fact, no "official" date for the BBEYOND world...i always wanted bruce to be in his early eighties in the show, the network wanted him to be younger (this IS kids wb we're talking about here, remember)....according to ME, BBEYOND is 50 years from now, according to publicity materials, it's only 40.....it HAS to be 50, when you think about it: bruce has to be at least 60 when he quits at the beginning of "rebirth", and he meets terry 20 years after that....whatever, i don't guess it's all that important....either way, we have enough wiggle room...."
2/8/2005: "as for BATMAN BEYOND, though it was in part a continuation of BTAS and TNBA, the series centered on a brand new character (terry), therefore we felt it was very important to give him his own group of "rogues gallery" villains, and not just have him fight bruce wayne's old ones....so yes, we did avoid taking the easy "fan-service" way out there....however, having barbara grow up to be the new "commissioner gordon" was a TOTAL "fan-service" bit, but it felt like the logical thing to do...it gave terry his own unique "hero/cop" dynamic, distinctly different than bruce and jim gordon's, and also allowed us to utilise a pre-existing supporting character from BTAS in a fresh role...."
1/7/2008: "terry's batman costume pre-dates the MOTB batwoman costume by several years, so it's definitely NOT an homage to her....also, the original batwoman costume from the comics was predominantly YELLOW....actually, if anything it's the other way around: i think alex ross did intend the CURRENT dc comics batwoman's color scheme as a kinda homage to terry-bat...i think he even wanted to give her an "all-over" mask (no exposed chin area) like terry's at one point...
i guess i was thinking "black with red = dracula" when i designed terry's togs, plus it was an easy way to distinguish it from bruce's black-grey-and-yellow outfit...nothing deeper than that, i'm afraid"
3/15/2007: "the exact phrasing of the wb executive was : "the shows needs a female entry point"....and no, i'm not making this up...
can't speak for alan and paul but murakami-san and i actually thought it wasn't a bad idea to give terry his very own "willow", someone his own age to hang out with and confide in, to counterpoint the more curmudgeonly bruce....i liked the design glen came up with, and we all adored cree summer...but no, i don't think she was ever written particularly well, and i can easily understand why most people find her annoying and unnecessary....
part of me still suspects that there wouldn't have been so much resistance from the fans if she'd been male....i think there's still a bit of the old "he-man woman-haters club" mentality in action, even if its only sub-conscious...
bottom-line, i doubt very much that max's presence ever increased our ratings with girl viewers and she only served to alienate young boys..."
9/28/2010: "dr. cuvier in "splicers" was modeled on silent film star conrad veidt"
8/11/2004: "one thing no one's mentioned is that we also apparently swiped alan moore's original ending for the BATMAN BEYOND episode "eyewitness"....the fact that we had already done that ending once was one of the reasons why we didn't do it this time, but just hinted at it with sound effects...also, we knew there's a limit to how much horrific carnage the censors would allow us to show, anyway..."
4/2/2007: "that was andrea's idea, to cast them both against type.....in fact, for some reason, i had assumed robert WAS going to be playing the heavy and bill macy the weasel, and didn't realise andrea had cast counter-intuitively until we were actually in the recording studio, at which point i voiced my reservations....she said, "let's just rehearse it this way and if you still don't think it'll work, we'll ask them to swap roles when we record"....obviously, they both rocked it during rehearsal....
so, andrea 1, bruce 0..."
2/5/2005: "a few months back i happened to be discussing The Swiss Cheese That Is "The Call" with alan burnett (i can't for the life of me remember how it came up), and i asked him, "explain to me again why the starro-controlled-superman recruited terry, with the expressed intent of finding out who the traitor was, when he HIMSELF was said traitor?" alan told me with an absolute straight face that it was superman himself (NOT starro) subconsciously fighting starro's influence...i looked at him for a long moment...he grinned, shrugged and said, "yeah, i know...pretty lame, huh?""
Discarded Catwoman Beyond DTV Idea
7/19/2005: "the catwoman bbeyond dtv thing was NEVER scripted, it never went beyond a 45-minute impromptu plotting session between glen murakami and myself....nothing was ever even written down on it....
in its original (if nebulous) form, it was too similar to both "mask of the phantasm" and "return of the joker" in several key plot-structure points....but even before we had a chance to iron any of that out, the home video dept's unbridled apathy towards any more bbeyond dtv projects made the whole thing moot...."
Discarded Episode Ideas
5/3/2007: "actually, that was never a part of "rats!", it was a whole nuther episode that didn't get made...it was intended to counter-act the "terry ditches dana to fight crime" trend, (see "splicers" as well as "rats!")....
murakami-san's idea was to throw a bunch of crime-fightin' obstacles in terry's way as he tries to keep his date with dana, but he actually does get there on time at the end...alan burnett wanted to change the story so that terry DOESN'T get there on time, dana dumps him, and terry ends up with max on the rebound....since we couldn't agree on it, we just killed the story dead...."
Date Unknown: "The writers have pitched Poison Ivy stories, but I don't want to do them yet. I want to try something different for as long as we can, before we go back to the Batman well."
Note: Quote from an issue of Starlog Magazine
Justice League Unlimited
Idea for Season Four
8/2005: "We had talked just briefly about doing 13 more episodes; we had an idea of doing something that would be a season-long journey through time. It would give us a chance to revisit a bunch of DC heroes from different [time] periods. We'd go to the far future and see the Atomic Knights, have an adventure with Enemy Ace during World War I, or do something again in the Old West. And there was also talk of possibly doing a whole season [...] in the Batman Beyond universe"
Source: ToyFare Magazine #108
The Comic Books
2017: "We didn't have any direct input on the comics...DC never solicited our opinions on what they were doing, nor would we have had time to give them notes if they had--I learned very early on not to get my nose bent out of joint if they did something in the comics we would never have done--my own personal way of dealing with it was to consider only the animated episodes themselves as 'true canon'--which means that even Mad Love wasn't purely canonical until we adapted it for the animated series."
Source: Back Issue #99 (September 2017), page 43