Delayed Batman-Superman Should Become The Justice League Of America Movie

By Sean O'Connell 2014-01-18 08:36:45discussion comments
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Delayed Batman-Superman Should Become The Justice League Of America Movie image
Initially, it sounds bad. Zack Snyder’s Batman-Superman team up has been delayed, pushing its date back from July 2015 to May 2016. But now that we’ve had time to process the information, I’m here to tell you this is the right decision, and possibly the ONLY decision D.C. and Warner could make as they continue to map out a massive cinematic universe. And it’s time to think bigger.

Making major changes to huge, studio tentpole pictures can send out warning signs. Tell an impatient audience that they have to wait 10 months to see a movie, and people are going to begin to wonder what went wrong. Is the script a mess? Did a star back out? Is the studio getting cold feet? At the same time, studios also need to step back and realize how long it can take to deliver a worthy blockbuster. We’re currently in a broken process where studios announce release dates for potential blockbusters YEARS before projects are in place. No director. No screenplay. No real cast to speak of. But get me a Marvel movie in 2017, or else! This system forced the Planet of the Apes franchise to switch directors mid-stream, as one example.

Delaying Batman-Superman makes sense for various reasons. The studio fell back on the "effects" issue, and that rings true. Snyder will need to up the ante established in Man of Steel, and we all assumed that working with the same team would mean that the learning curve was smaller. But adding Batman and Wonder Woman means other worlds can be – and need to be – explored. Stepping back, giving Snyder more time, and laying claim to a later release date means Batman-Superman isn’t racing to meet a pre-disposed date, possibly scrimping on quality.

Here’s another reason why the delay makes sense, and why I think we might get new announcements down the line. The untitled Batman-Superman movie can now become the Justice League movie, now that Snyder has time to flesh out his script and properly plan a mega-ensemble movie.

Justice League

After the casting of Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, Snyder’s movie has coasted on the fumes of casting rumors. The Rock might play Cyborg. Josh Holloway is on talks for Aquaman. Each piece came with a grain of salt. How could Snyder fit all of these people in? Now he and screenwriter David S. Goyer have time to consult with "Godfather" Nolan and map out a plan. Sony did it with Spider-Man. Warner needs to do it with this property.

The reason Batman-Superman exists, primarily, is because D.C. is racing to catch up with Marvel, and the mash-ups they created with The Avengers. We know we’re going to get to a JLA movie in time. How much time are you willing to spend? May 2016 feels like a long way off. If Snyder maintains that the May 2016 movie remains a World’s Finest Batman-Superman story, the JLA movie would be 2017 at the earliest, and more realistically 2018.

I find it interesting that studios and directors are trying to wrestle some control back from the release-date happy trigger fingers at the studios. Star Wars recently pushed its release date back, giving J.J. Abrams time to re-write and reconfigure Episode VII. It was the right move, on the surface. Work out your story, get your script right, and deliver a movie fans can enjoy. Snyder’s getting a reprieve. He has time, and can make a bold move. He can go into production on a JLA movie, dropping it in theaters at the start of Summer 2016. It could close the gap that exists between Marvel and D.C. at the moment. And if you knew the upcoming movie was a full-blown JLA adventure, wouldn’t that be worth the wait?
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