A while ago now we published an article detailing all of the hurdles that Warner Brothers will face with their plans to make a Justice League movie. This movie was set to collide head-on with The Avengers 2 and Star Wars: Episode VII (both properties of Disney) in the fight for audience attention in 2015. However, Warner Brothers were rushing forward with the production; unaware of or ignoring the true reasons why Disney and Marvel‘s gamble was a huge success. The Avengers was a landmark moment in film history because it managed to combine multiple franchises into one movie with zero continuity errors.
Warner Brothers’ “plan” was to ignore all of that build-up, crowbar a few Justice League references into Zack Snyder‘s upcoming Superman reboot Man Of Steel, and then launch a film that introduced multiple characters, a universe and one of DC’s most complex and all encompassing villains – Darkseid, who unfortunately bears a strong resemblance to Marvel’s uber villain of choice Thanos – all in one go. Things were looking grim for Warner Brothers when they had relative newcomer Will Beall work on the script. Beall’s first feature Gangster Squad recently failed to light the world on fire, so that has sadly damaged Warner Brothers’ confidence in him.
There have been a lot of leaks as of late, with reports suggesting that they were going to strip the Justice League down to just four characters (Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern), which demonstrates Warner Brothers’ complete lack of faith in the characters of DC – an issue that has plagued them consistently whenever the chance of making a DC inspired film comes up.
Earlier this week, Mark Millar, comic book creator of Kick Ass, and the man hired to be the creative director of 20th Century Fox‘s own slice of the Marvel Universe (they’re trying to build a coherent universe similar to how Disney/Marvel have done. Fox only have two franchises to play with however: X-Men and The Fantastic Four, although they certainly have a large scope). Millar recently stated publicly that a Justice League movie was “a great way to lose 200 million dollars“. While that may seem relatively harsh and a rather large conflict of interest, Millar has always been outspoken with his opinions of various cultural happenings and he claims that the Justice League movie will simply not work because all the characters are far too old.
While it is indeed true that all of the major players in the DC Universe are over 75 years old, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are irrelevant. Part of what has made these characters so popular over time is because they are easily adaptable to most situations and time periods. After all, Christopher Nolan achieved enormous success with his own recent Batman adaptations; a character that was created all the way back in 1939, and who also serves as one of the most important characters in the Justice League.
Millar’s comments are even more baffling when you look at his library of work. In the late nineties and early 2000s Millar did a lot of work at DC – writing stories for Batman, Superman, The Flash AND Justice League – which when compared to his comments just seems odd. How did those characters suddenly become outdated ten – fifteen years after he wrote for them and everything else in comics didn’t?
No, the biggest problem with any Justice League movie is that Warner Brothers just doesn’t have any faith in DC’s characters that aren’t Batman or Superman, as demonstrated by their practices over the last twenty years whenever the subject of DC movie comes up. This has been further proved by Warner Brothers’ latest decision regarding the proposed Justice League movie: they have scrapped Beall’s script.
That doesn’t mean they’ve asked for rewrites; it means they’ve thrown away the script entirely and now need to find a replacement to write a completely different script. The fact that Disney are so far ahead of Warner Brothers at this point, with information already coming out pertaining to Disney’s post Avengers 2 movies compared to the Justice League project no longer possessing a workable script or writer, it’s looking extremely unlikely that we’ll see a Justice League movie in 2015, if ever.
The sad thing is, there are plenty of people out there who could write a great Justice League script, but Warner Brothers are seemingly just not willing to take a risk on it. Of course, if Man Of Steel is a roaring success you can expect talk of a Justice League movie to resurface again, but whether anything concrete will actually appear from it is another thing entirely.