News has recently broken that Warner Brothers has thrown out their latest script, for Justice League, which was written by Will Beall. Yes, the same Will Beall, who recently wrote the rather disappointing Gangster Squad. Warner Brothers has also come out and said that they are waiting to give the official green-light to Justice League until they see how well Man of Steel performs this coming June. While many people may view this as a rather harsh blow to the Justice League film, I see this as the first truly positive news to come from Warner Brothers since they first announced the film. In the following editorial, I shall go into why I believe this is good news and what steps Warner Brothers should take next if they truly want a DC cinematic universe on par with Marvel’s.
There are a variety of reasons why the news above is some of the best we’ve heard about Justice League in sometime. The main reason is that Warner Brothers is able to recognize that they have a bad script and are not willing to make an awful movie just to make a quick buck. I know that myself and many others assumed that when WB announced Justice League, it was only because The Avengers had quickly become the third highest grossing movie of all time. It still feels like they’re trying to rush the film out, especially when they decided to announce a release date, of 2015, before they even had a script or director attached. This news at least shows us not everything may be, as it seems.
The fact that they’re willing to wait and see how well Man of Steel performs tells us two things:
One, they’re not really sure if the Justice League film is worth the risk.
Two, They want to make sure they don’t have another Green Lantern on their hands.
This is good news as well because it shows us once again that they’re not really in a big rush to get Justice League out like it once seemed. They want to make sure this is actually going to be worth it, both financially for them and story-wise for the fans. Of course this is all speculation for the most part. However, if I were Warner Brothers I wouldn’t even be considering 2015 as a release date; between The Avengers 2, a new Star Wars film, The Fantastic Four reboot, and many other huge tent-pole films coming out that year it’s already crowded enough. If my assumption is correct, in that they’re not in a rush to release Justice League, there are a great many options that Warner Brothers has open to them.
If I were Warner Brothers I would shelf Justice League for a while. There’s no reason to rush out that film and quickly become compared and contrasted against both The Avengers and the Avengers 2 when it releases. If Man of Steel is a success they now have their Iron Man, which is able to setup the DC cinematic universe. This is the best-case scenario because Superman is so fantastical and an alien from another planet. Not only that, but you help reestablish Superman for a modern audience, much like Nolan did for Batman. Since he’s an alien from another planet the film is also able to relate to Green Lantern and all the alien species we saw in that film. Now they have Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern (for better or worse), established to the general audiences around the globe. The only thing they have to deal with next is Wonder Woman and The Flash.
News has already been released that there are scripts for both a Wonder Woman and Flash films. It would become my top priority to fast track both of those projects and get those scripts into the best possible shape for filming to commence. They have to get writers and directors on these films that understand the characters and really know what motivates them. Marvel was able to get Kenneth Brannagh to direct Thor because they saw the similarities the story had to Shakespearean works. Wonder Woman is essentially Thor of the DC universe. They might as well go all out and make the film as big and epic as the Greek Gods that are depicted in her stories. Imagine a Wonder Woman film that involves a great deal of the Greek Gods, it would be like God of War meets Clash of the Titans (except it would be good). It’s too bad they had the opportunity to make a Wonder Woman film by Joss Whedon, but they decided to pass. I bet they’re really kicking themselves in the ass over that now. Regardless, Wonder Woman needs her own film because the only incarnations of her modern audiences have seen are from an outdated and campy television show from the 1970’s.
As for The Flash, the same holds true they need to get people involved on the film that know this character and can do him justice. Geoff Johns is one of the first people that spring to mind, but I’m sure there are other people working at DC that would have an interesting take on the character. I know we’re all dying to see those super speed effects on film. What if it ended with a little tie in from Man of Steel and we actually see Superman and The Flash have their classic foot race? Warner Brothers could get both of these films off the ground and have them released in either 2015 or more likely 2016. Of course that would all lead into a Justice League film for 2017 at the earliest.
When it comes to Justice League, nothing makes me happier than the fact that Will Beall’s script isn’t being used. I think the dialogue in Gangster Squad is one of the worst things about the film. So now that they’re able to start fresh, they need to do what Marvel did.
Let’s be honest the only reason The Avengers worked was because of Joss Whedon. His ability to simply know what made those characters tick, knowing how they would react to meeting each other, and his love of the universe as a whole shines throughout that movie and causes you to love it. Warner Brothers needs their own Joss Whedon if the Justice League is going to stand a chance.
I say, hire David Goyer to write the film. If he stays on the current hot streak he’s got going, from the Dark Knight Trilogy and now possibly Man of Steel, there’s no reason not to hire him. I don’t want to pick a director because it’s far too early for that, and besides, I think the script is more important than the person directing–for the most part. Of course, once the Justice League film is released, Warner Brothers can then go off and continue with whatever characters they have stories left to tell.
There you have it, my rundown of what the DC cinematic universe could possibly be, if they decide to actually take their time with it. It’s always so hard to tell what’s going to happen in the film world, projects can get fast-tracked in the blink of an eye or fall into production hell. As a movie and comic book enthusiast, I can’t wait to see what happens, just like the rest of you. Here’s hoping with my fingers crossed we get the movie we deserve and not the one Warner Brothers needs to fill their pockets.