Written by Jeff Snyder
With the success of the Avengers film and its prequels (I guess that is kind of what you would call the installments leading up to the Avengers movie), it is really no surprise that DC comics would try its hand at making an epic superhero mash up. Obviously, this would come about in the form of the Justice League. The Huffington Post has already narrowed down the superhero cast list to just Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and the Flash. It has also been intimated that the film would be scheduled to be released in 2015 (which isn’t too much time to work with the material) and a scriptwriter has been brought on board, in Will Beall.
With 2011’s Green Lantern flopping in the box office, by all accounts, it has made Warner Bros a little hesitant before fully committing to the potential blockbuster. Variety is reporting that Warner Bros is awaiting the box office figures for one movie in particular before moving ahead with the Justice League films. What movie would that be? Well, it’s not about a bird, nor is it about a plane. If you see where I’m going with this…then yes…I mean the upcoming Zack Snyder directed Superman film, Man of Steel.
From what I’ve seen thus far of Man of Steel, which is admittedly not as much as I would like it to be, I believe it has all of the hallmarks of a successful film. It has got some great actors in it, a great producer in Chris Nolan, and a solid director in Zack Snyder. On top of this, the film has a sleek and intriguing trailer. From what I am seeing, this Superman film is dealing less with Superman vs a bad guy, but more with Superman and the social aspects of his existence. We can tell this from the majority of the trailer showing dialogue dealing with this exact topic. I really hope the film is this way because it will avoid, what is in my mind, the biggest problem with Superman movies. Superman is a demigod. The classic joke is that Superman has only one power and that power is the ability to have whatever power he needs to save the day. It really takes you out of the movie when you just know that there is some sort of deus ex machina somewhere lurking on the horizon. That is why dealing with the social aspects of his existence is so smart. Superman can’t punch everybody in the world’s face off. That would also be slightly counterproductive if he was in fact trying to protect us all. It is an issue that you can’t solve with having a superpower. Brilliant.
Regardless of whether or not this film does well in the box office, I’m not sure if a Justice League film should be done. Since the expertly made Nolan Batman flicks were released it was always going to be difficult to do this. I can’t really see Nolan’s Batman (SPOILER: or whatever permutation of him after the final film) co-existing with Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, or Green Lantern. It just wouldn’t fit. Wrong tone and it’s simply a different universe. Nolan’s Batman is just too realistic, or as realistic as Batman could be while still being entertaining. If using Nolan’s Batman isn’t the answer than the only other option is to reinvent Batman again, since you need to have Batman in the Justice League. The problem with that option is that Justice League Batman is never going to beat out Nolan’s Batman and will always fail in comparison. Those films were just too big of a deal. Notice, I’m not saying that JL Batman would be worse than Nolan’s Batman, it’s just Nolan’s Batman came first and was really, really good. Nostalgia and hype would just be too powerful to beat down. I can be brought around to the idea of a Justice League movie. Hell, people thought Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire could never be filmed successfully. In this occasion, however, I’m going to be very cautious before getting too excited.
(Part#1 of the 1997 Ill-fated Justice League pilot. To skip all of the award winning acting, cutting-edge effects and cut to heroic “super friends” in action, jump to spot 8:20…it’ll leave you hanging at the edge of your seat, drooling to watch Part#2 and see the rest of the gang!)