Legion Of Super-Heroes Writer Shares The ‘Key Element’ She’d Like To See If The DC Superhero Team Gets A Live-Action Movie

Supergirl watching Arm-Fall-Off-Boy in front of other Legion of Super-Heroes members
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

The Legion of Super-Heroes has been around since 1958, debuting two years before the Justice League and 18 years after the Justice Society, the first superhero team ever. However, while both of those DC Comics groups have been spotlighted in live-action movies over the last several years, there’s been no word about the Legion being given the same honor. But should the day come that these characters from the 31st century ever grace the big screen, Josie Campbell, who wrote the animated, direct-to-video DC movie Legion of Super-Heroes, already knows the “key element” she’d like to see in it.

Having previously written for Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Action, Legion of Super-Heroes, the latest installment in the Tomorrowverse continuity following last year’s Green Lantern: Beware My Power (which can be streamed with an HBO Max subscription), gave her the opportunity to work on a DC-related project directed at older audiences. But as my conversation with her unfolded, Campbell shared that she’s been a Legion of Super-Heroes fan for a long time, so between that and having written this new movie, I asked her what the main thing was she’d like to see in a live-action movie focused on the Legion. She responded:

I think if they were to do a live-action version… it’s hard, because I feel like the key element I’d want to see is also the part that’s hardest to translate, which is that the Legion isn’t made up of one type of power or one type of person. To put it bluntly, it’s a bunch of weirdos. It’s a bunch of people with strange powers and strange backstories coming together. It’s really hard to do, but I think if you wanted to do a Legion story right in live-action, you have to embrace that fact that these are a bunch of weird guys coming to save the world.

The Legion of Super-Heroes is indeed made up of a bunch of weirdos, even by superhero standards. Even just looking at the above picture from the animated Legion of Super-Heroes movie, you can see Arm-Fall-Off Boy and Bouncing Boy, two characters with some of the goofiest powers to ever grace DC Comics lore. But as Josie Campbell sees it, a live-action Legion of Super-Heroes movie needs to embrace that weirdness rather than deviate from it in order to stand out from the crowd. Frankly, in my mind, if you get the right filmmakers behind it, the Legion of Super-Heroes could be the DC equivalent of what Guardians of the Galaxy was for the MCU.

A handful of Legion of Super-Heroes characters have already been adapted into live-action for Smallville and Supergirl, and the team’s other notable appearances outside the comics include their own animated series that aired in the mid-2000s, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited and Justice League vs. The Fatal Five. Back in 2015, it was rumored that DC was developing a live-action Legion of Super-Heroes movie, but nothing ever came of it. While there are five upcoming DC movies and five upcoming DC TV shows now on the slate for the DC Universe’s “Gods and “Monsters” era, maybe DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran can find a place for the team later down the line.

As for this animated Legion of Super-Heroes movie, which comes out on Tuesday February 7 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, it follows Meg Donnelly’s Supergirl traveling to the 31st century to train at Legion Academy, where she’ll meet a variety of colorful characters, including Brainiac 5, played by Harry Shum Jr. (who’s now game to play a villain in a live-action superhero movie). Director Jeff Wamester was “excited” to tackle the Legion after helming Justice Society: World War II and Green Lantern: Beware My Power, and the cast also includes Darren Criss, Jensen Ackles, Darren Criss and Yuri Lowenthal, among many others.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.