Three Reasons The Justice League Movie Won't Open In 2015, Or Probably Ever

A commenter on an earlier story seemed shocked when I suggested that Warner Bros. probably would not have their Justice League movie in theaters by 2015.

And here I thought that was just common knowledge by this point.

But because news moves fast around here, and it’s wholly possible JLA fans missed an important piece of recent information, here are the three reasons why I’m convinced the Justice League movie will NOT be in theaters in 2015 (and why I believe we’ll likely never see it at all).

#1: The script has been scrapped

At least, according to multiple sources close to the pre-production on Justice League who told Badass Digest that Will Beall’s script is “terrible.” The reports say that the studio might be looking to start over, and that the approach has been half-baked with the core five JLA heroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern – being added and removed haphazardly. Even if Team JLA had a solid idea, scripting for 2015 would be difficult. And we likely would have heard firm casting decisions instead of Joseph Gordon-Levitt rumors (which the actor’s reps denied). The hiring freeze on JLA brings me to my next point.

#2: They still don’t have a director

This likely is a direct result of the script not being up to snuff. Perhaps Ben Affleck would have signed on the direct and play Batman if Beall’s script had blown him out of the water. But reports say the script is in shambles, and that could be why no director has signed on. Now, a 2015 movies doesn’t necessarily have to have its director in place at the moment. But parallel 2015 tentpoles hoping to achieve success on the level of a Justice League movie already hired their directors – be it Joss Whedon for The Avengers 2 or J.J. Abrams for Star Wars: Episode VII. And Abrams already has said that pre-production might mean pushing that 2015 release date back. You’re telling me that a JLA movie with no cast, a broken script and no director will pull itself together in time for a 2015 release date? And you’d want to see that version? Please. Warner isn’t even sure it wants to see that version. Which brings me to my final point.

#3: Man of Steel might flop

In which case Warner has already said it would hold off on Justice League. New Warner CEO wisely wants to wait to see if audiences support Henry Cavill as the new Superman before throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at a franchise that might never get off the ground. The studio appears to be in a wait-and-see holding pattern. Even if Man of Steel breaks the bank, that doesn’t give a production that much time to turnaround and meet what’s surely supposed to be a Summer 2015 release date.

So, good-news/bad-news Justice League fans. I sincerely believe you’ll have to wait longer than 2015 to see your favorite heroes together on screen. I'd also say that this madcap dash to assemble a Justice League movie is really a crippling case of Marvel envy, and Warner will come to realize a Justice League movie cobbled together without the proper planning (which takes years) is a fool's errand. And if I were a betting man, I'd say that we never see a Justice League movie in theaters.

Granted, my use of "never" is more of a gut feeling that Warner has been on the fence the whole time, compelled to act on a JLA movie because of what Marvel is doing, but totally unwilling to commit to the time and money needed to make it work. And when I say "never," I simply believe that Warner will pull the plug on pre-production before they let a JLA movie happen. Maybe they'll say Man of Steel didn't make enough (regardless of what it makes). Maybe they'll announce a new Batman instead. In my gut, I just believe that they don't want to do it. So if I were to bet, I'd put money on "won't happen" over "might happen someday."

Need a silver lining? The longer Warner waits, the better chance we have of maybe seeing a proper JLA movie that’s made because a filmmaker believes in the property, and not because a major studio has a hole in their release schedule that needs filling.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.