Warner Brothers has long hungered to make some sort of massive, DC superhero teamup movie. Anyone who’s followed this site over the past few years has seen the stories of their attempts to get a Batman vs. Superman movie into production. That may still be a possibility, but for now it looks like they’ve switched to pursuing a Justice League movie instead.
If you know what Justice League is, skip this paragraph. Let me talk to the non-nerds who read our site for just a second. Justice League, in it’s various incarnations, is basically a crime-fighting club for superheroes. During it’s time in DC Comics, they League has had nearly every major superhero in their pantheon as a member at one point or another. The core group however, usually consists of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter. That’s the original group. In addition to being a comic book, Justice League of America has been several different cartoon series, including one which featured a pair of superpowered twins, one of whom had the ability to turn into a bucket of water. Wonder Twins activate!
Variety claims they’ve hired Kiernan and Michele Mulrooney to write a Justice League script. You haven’t seen anything they’ve written, because it’s all still in varying stages of production.
The only question here that matters is which superheroes will they use in it? Warner Brothers isn’t talking, but Variety seems ready to assume they won’t use second tier superheroes. Not so fast Variety. They’ve done it before. Hardcore superhero geeks will remember the failed animated series in which the Justice League was lead by Ant Man for instance. WB already has successful Batman and Superman franchises running. They have a Wonder Woman movie coming soon. There’s really no reason for them to shove those characters into a team-up movie just yet. That’s the sort of thing you do only when their individual franchises have already run their course. On the other hand, this might be a good opportunity to squeeze some screen time out of some second-tier characters that aren’t strong enough to carry a film on their own, but when smashed together with other mid-level heroes might work. Maybe throw Hawkman, Black Canary, and Plastic Man in the movie and then just for name recognition have the team lead by a higher profile hero like The Flash and/or Green Lantern. Add in a cameo by Brandon Routh as Superman or Christian Bale as Batman, and you’ve got a $150 million dollar movie at least… assuming you can get either of them to do it.
Actually, I think getting either Routh or Bale anywhere near this thing is pretty unlikely. There was a chance they might consider a Batman vs. Superman movie, but there’s really no reason for either of them to lower themselves or their characters by appearing in a movie with lesser heroes. And make no mistake, no matter which characters the WB uses they are lesser when compared to Batman and Superman. Plus, Bale has a reputation for picking quality projects. At best this will be the WB equivalent of the Fantastic Four. That doesn’t sound like a Christian Bale project to me.
So even in best case scenario here, we’ll get a Justice League movie with Batman and Superman involved… but paid by replacement actors. Actually scratch that. That’s worse. I’d rather have a bunch of scrubs than replacement actors wearing their capes. The Flash hasn’t been able to get his own movie off the ground, and neither has Green Lantern. Maybe this will be their time to shine.