Back in June, word got out about not one, but two animated projects in the works featuring Hal and the Green Lantern Corps: "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" and "Green Lantern: Emerald Knights," an animated movie that many speculated would be a sequel to 2009's "Green Lantern: First Flight."
With both projects poised to make 2011 a very good year for DC's ring-wielding hero, I spoke to producer Bruce Timm to get a few more details about each project.
"[The animated series] doesn't follow the direct continuity of the [live-action] movie or 'First Flight' or anything that we've done before, but it doesn't contradict them either," Timm told MTV News. "They're all pretty consistent in terms of Hal Jordan being the Green Lantern and so forth, so hopefully by the time our show comes on, people will have seen the 'Green Lantern' movie — several times, hopefully — and they'll know the backstory, so we can go off from there."
According to the veteran writer, artist, animator, and producer, the creative team on the "Green Lantern" animated series saw no need to retell the hero's origin story, given everything else that will be in theaters — and hitting the shelves a second time — when the series premieres.
"We've already done the origin story in 'First Flight,' and I'm sure we'll be re-releasing that to take advantage of all the 'Green Lantern' publicity next year," he said. "The movie itself is going to be his origin story, so people will know his origin story and we don't have to waste time with it yet again."
Timm indicated that the series will generally involve standalone episodes, but the "broad arc" for the first season (26 episodes) will feature the rage-fueled Red Lanterns. For those who aren't up on their Green Lantern mythos, the Green Lanterns' power comes from each individual hero's willpower and ability to overcome fear, while the Red Lanterns' powers are fueled by the ring-wielders' rage.
However, if you're hoping to see the full spectrum of Lanterns, you might have to wait a while.
"We don't get into the whole Black Lantern thing," said Timm, citing DC Comics' recent "Blackest Night" crossover event that featured a massive war involving every color of Lantern and much of Earth's superheroes. "Hopefully the show is a big hit and will go on for six or seven years, and we'll do the Black Lanterns somewhere down the line, but for now we don't have any plans to go down that route."
Oh, and don't expect to see Superman or Batman making cameos in the series, either. According to Timm, almost the entire series is set in space, with the story beginning on Earth but going cosmic almost as soon as the series begins.
"It's a science-fiction show, so this means Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, they're not showing up," he said. "It's all about the Green Lantern Corps."
As for the other animated Green Lantern project on next year's calendar, Timm confirmed that "Green Lantern: Emerald Knights" is indeed planned for a 2011 release — though he stopped short of calling it a "sequel" to 2009's "First Flight."
"This one focuses directly on the other members of the Green Lantern Corps," he explained. "It's similar in format to the "Batman: Gotham Knight" movie we did a couple of years ago, with six individual stories all tied up in an overall arc. ['Emerald Knights'] is similar in that each of the individual stories focuses on one of the other Green Lanterns."
"Green Lantern: Emerald Knights" is currently slated for a June 2011 release, just a few weeks after the live-action "Green Lantern" movie. "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2011.
What do you think of the two Green Lantern animated projects? Any expectations as far as storylines or characters? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter! You can also follow me, Splash Page editor Rick Marshall, on Twitter!