Given that 2013 is the 75th anniversary of the creation of what was debatably the very first superhero, the public will soon be seeing Superman everywhere. It looks as if fans of the character can look forward to director Zack Snyder's reboot of the film franchise with Man of Steel, but also a veritable avalanche of new comics, video games, and revivals.
One of the most recently-announced (and most intriguing) projects intended to celebrate the anniversary is a short animated film to be produced by Snyder himself. Snyder, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. seem to be pulling out all the stops for this film, as they've recruited many of other Superman veterans to work on it – including animation legend Bruce Timm (the Justice League television series).
THR shares the news that Snyder and Timm will collaborate on the creation of a short animated film intended to highlight and praise the entire course of Superman's history. They join a team of collaborators that includes Geoff Johns (writer of Superman: Secret Origin), Jay Oliva (Man of Steel's storyboard lead), and Mike Carlin (former executive editor for DC).
Only a few minutes long, the animation will apparently consist of a single uninterrupted shot that will pay homage to every stage of Superman's history. This montage will include the 1940s animated Superman of Max Fleischer, Christopher Reeves' films, the outlandish comic book adventures of the Silver Age, and will end with the Superman depicted in Man of Steel.
This is, of course, far from the first time that Timm has worked with the Man of Steel. After cutting his teeth as an animator on Tiny Toon Adventures, Bruce Timm went on to help oversee and create the DC Animated Universe that began with the universally celebrated Batman: The Animated Series and carried over into the more-relevant Superman: The Animated Series. Since these projects, Timm has worked to shape DC's animated projects either hands-on or from behind the scenes as producer.
Timm's involvement in the anniversary project comes on the heels of the announcement that he was "stepping away" from DC animation for a time. While some fans speculated that Timm was leaving the animation division he helped build, insiders asserted that he would soon be back "in a big way." Will this relatively simple (and yet, rather ambitious) short film mark a resurgence in Timm's output?
While there is no announced release date for the of the as-yet-unnamed Superman film, DC intends to roll out a preview animatic at San Diego Comic-Con. As it is intended as an anniversary tribute, fans will no doubt see a finished product before the end of the year. Whether or not the film will mark the beginning of a more active portion of Bruce Timm's career, it's exciting to consider the lauded animator working with Zack Snyder on what could be a truly breathtaking piece of animation.
Man of Steel smashes into theaters on June 14th, 2013. The unnamed Superman short film does not yet have a release date, but will likely appear late in 2013.