Last year, Marvel’s The Avengers (or Avenger’s Assemble in the U.K) triumphed at the box-office. Making over $1.5 billion worldwide it blew all other movies out the water financially, including Warner Brothers’ The Dark Knight Rises, which was originally suspected to be the king of the superhero film in 2012. Joss Whedon managed to combine the myriad of superheroes and create an exciting, intense and very likeable film all under two and a half hours. Even the most passionate comic book fans had their reservations about how the amount of characters could combine effectively and how the previous films may intertwine without confusing a virgin audience member. However, Whedon quickly quashed all fears in one fell swoop, with style.
Warner Brothers, who own the rights to the D.C comics would obviously have seen the success of Avengers and wanted to do something along those lines. Especially with the end of the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy and their summer release Man of Steel still being an unknown quantity. The obvious answer was finally to make and release the ill fated Justice League movie that has in recent years suffered delays and all sorts of commotion.
The Justice League of America is a band of heroes in the DC comics that, like The Avengers, unite to fight evil, whether it’s the Legion of Doom of whomever. Their group includes, among many others that are constantly changing, Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Aquaman. These are the best known to the average movie goer, although only three have recently appeared on screen, and would most likely be those which the movie centres around. How would this band work together on screen though?
The movie is planned for 2015, colliding head on, not only with The Avengers 2, but competing with Star Wars VII, the most hotly anticipated film of the decade. Currently Justice League has no director, although George Miller, Zack Snyder and more recently Ben Affleck and Christopher Nolan have been linked. There is no knowing if the current Superman (Henry Cavill), Green Lantern (Ryan Reynolds) and Batman (Christian Bale) have agreed to sign up. There has also been a lack of screen presence from The Flash and Wonder Woman, two of the key members of the league. Also, will Justice League continue with the realistic, worldly tone of The Dark Knight and Man of Steel or change it to something more light hearted? Warner Brothers truly have their work cut out here with a lot to think about.
With only two years before the prospective release date there really needs to be some progress this year if it’s going to even come close to mirroring the success of The Avengers. Perhaps Warner is waiting for audience response to Man of Steel before deciding on a director. A success will surely catapult Snyder to top of the directing list, with possibly Nolan and writer David S. Goyer added to impose an essence of Dark Knight. Then, the cast needs to be established. If Bale and Cavill are replaced it has to be the right kind of actor that replaces them. This will be a very tricky task, especially because, Bale especially, has already spent the best part of a decade making the Batman character his.
The characters who have yet to appear on screen also have to be great actors because it is these versions of iconic heroes like Wonder Woman and The Flash that are going to be scrutinised by the fans. Most vitally, however, the script needs to be sharp, funny and have a solid plot that the audience can follow, relate to and altogether enjoy.
I don’t know if Justice League will make its deadline of 2015. It seemed something of a knee jerk reaction by Warner to Marvel’s success. However, it will be interesting to watch this space because there is certainly great potential in this series and its heroes.