Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Voice of Reason #5: Forming the Justice League

Would a Justice League film ever match the might of the Avengers?

Let's face it; the success of The Avengers took us all by surprise. We all knew it was going to be big; maybe 600, maybe 700 million dollars big, but not 1.5 billion dollars big. Not only did The Avengers topple the previous comic-book movie milestone that is The Dark Knight but the combined weight of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye defeated Autobots, wizards, Hobbits, Pirates and Jedis - it is now the third highest grossing film of all time behind Titanic and Avatar.

Needless to say, this caught the attention of some big-wigs over at DC Comics; since the Avengers premièred in cinemas in April, there has been increasing speculation that DC will follow suit and put together a silver-screen mish-mash of their premier superheroes by Summer 2015, right alongside the planned release date for The Avengers 2. Talk about jumping on the bandwagon! The thing is there are a multitude of reasons why DC wouldn't be able to pull this off. Firstly, they need foresight.

One of the best things about the Avengers was the way in which Marvel had planned it out over as long as they had; laying the foundations back in 2008 with The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man, Marvel played the long game. A side-reference here, a Tony Stark/Nick Fury cameo there, the universe in which Marvel's Avengers resided was interconnected and steadily built upon, layer upon layer.

After Iron Man, Marvel took the time to give Thor and Captain America their introductions. It didn't feel rushed or messy. On the other hand, a Justice League movie would be the complete opposite of this. 2015 is less than 3 years away and DC have little to no framework around which to build a Justice League film. Since The Dark Knight trilogy literally just wrapped up, DC haven't had time to give Christopher Nolan's Batman any no inter-linking nature with either Ryan Reynold's piss-poor Green Lantern outing nor Zac Snyder's upcoming Man of Steel reboot. There is no inter-weaving narrative, no acknowledgement of a wider universe.

2011's Green Lantern movie
For a successful Justice League movie, DC would need to get all of their character's on the same page as Marvel did with the Avengers.Not only would this mean formulating successful origin stories for Wonder Woman and The Flash but also rebooting Batman and Green Lantern.

And with Batman literally having just hung up the cape and cowl, it is hard to imagine anyone relishing the prospect of a entirely new reboot for the World's Greatest Detective. No-one wants to see "Batman Begins Again" (working title), especially after Nolan, Bale and co. knocked it out of the park. Seriously people, let the poor guy take a break - he broke his back making that last movie!

Likewise, it'd be hard to find many people chomping at the bit for a re-boot of Green Lantern so soon. Superhero movie saturation is becoming a serious issue and too many reboots makes the genre a borderline joke.

Another thing DC would need to work on before a Justice League movie would be introducing Wonder Woman and The Flash with their own respective films. The former in particular has been a title touted for a while. Could DC make these two work? Maybe. Maybe not. Wonder Woman would face the task of trying to become cinema's first successful female superhero - Catwoman and Elektra really failing to hit the mark. Meanwhile, The Flash (as a concept) would be a really hard character to ground in reality given his ability of running really really really fast. Whilst Batman has the possibility to be grounded in reality (as The Dark Knight trilogy showed us), I can't see audiences siding with a high-concept character such as The Flash.

So whilst the idea of a Justice League movie has been the talk of the town in recent months, I don't buy into it. If DC didn't have the foresight to get all their ideas on the same page then that's too bad for them. Unfortunately for them, Marvel have already got their towel on the "superhero ensemble movie" sun-lounger.

What do you think? Would you watch a Justice League movie?

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