And so, finally, Warner Bros has announced that a 'Justice League' movie will be made after all. Zack Snyder, who helmed 'Man of Steel' and is working on 'Batman vs Superman', will be in charge of the new project, say studio heads. Expected release date - 2018.
With the official word out, there will be a lot of discussion and suggestions from all quarters about what this project should feature in terms of characters and plot. Over the past decade, Marvel, DC Comics' old competitor, has made more popular and profitable superhero movies than DC. Meanwhile, despite having arguably more iconic and far older superheroes in its stable, DC movies have faltered at the box office. Barring Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, recent DC superhero outings have either stopped just short of greatness, such as 'Man of Steel', or have been downright forgettable, like 'Green Lantern'.
Matters have come to such a pass that moviegoers who might not be familiar with superhero comics can be forgiven for believing that the Avengers have been around far longer than the Justice League. While we await further news of this project, we look at how a Justice League movie might shape up.
The New 52 Justice League (l to r): Aquaman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Flash and Cyborg.
Batfleck. First, a lot depends on how well the Batman vs Superman movie performs. It is yet to be seen how moviegoers respond to Ben Affleck as Batman. Henry Cavill's Superman in Man of Steel was not badly received and he is on his way to fitting snugly in the big guy's shoes. The other iconic character to be introduced in BvS is Wonder Woman, the greatest female superhero of them all. Whether model Gal Gadot can do justice to this demanding role remains to be seen.
What needs to be remembered here is, as far as the comics go, Batman in his standalone stories is much different from the character we see in Justice League stories. In Gotham City, the Caped Crusader is barely physically stretched as he takes on mostly non-superpowered (but still crazy) villains. In the Justice League, Batman not only has to keep pace with godlike heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, but has also to contribute in battle against such actual gods as Darkseid, or superb intellects like Brainiac. This change might be easy to accomplish in comics, but if Affleck were to go toe-to-toe with Cavill's Superman in BvS and join the Justice League afterwards, moviegoers should be warned that his character will need to be much different from Christian Bale's measured Batman.
DC's strategy. Where Marvel stole a march over DC was the way it released competent superhero movies on Thor, Iron Man and Captain America before bringing them all together in Avengers. This means viewers were familiar with these characters by the time they teamed up. DC's one attempt to move beyond Superman and Batman recently, 'Green Lantern', fizzled so utterly that we would rather believe the movie was never made in the first place. Viewers can be rather unforgiving if such errors are made, and Green Lantern, great and wonderful superhero though he is in comics, will have to make up for this disaster for a long time.
Ironically, DC Animated Universe has been bringing out animated movies on the Justice League and individual members fairly regularly in the past few years and they have been very well received. It's strange that this originality in content has not translated into live action movies.
With time running out and Marvel releasing better and yet better movies, DC had to take the plunge. But its other Justice League members haven't familiarized themselves with movie audiences yet. Once again, a lot depends on how Zack Snyder chooses to ease Wonder Woman into a Batman-Superman team-up, and whether he will bring in some other superheroes as well.
Composition of the League: Viewed dispassionately, Marvel's Avengers has very few front-rung superheroes, and certainly none as legendary as Marvel's best-known character, Spider-Man. Captain America and Hulk have had individual series and have been popular over the years. Thor and Iron Man were better known as Avengers than on their own. And yet, through some intelligent scriptwriting, dialogues and casting, all four characters have established themselves among movie watchers.
Snyder thus has his work cut out for him. His advantage is Justice League members have had consistently good story arcs over the decades and have a great amount of depth to their characters. The question is who the members should be in this movie, considering heroes have gone in and out of the team over time.
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern, being pretty much founding members, have to be there; if even one is missing it would be difficult to call it the Justice League. (For those not in the know and before you see Marvel's Quicksilver in 'X Man: Days of Future Past', Flash is the original 'fastest man alive').
Other members remain a matter of speculation. Martian Manhunter has been a regular over the decades, but in the New 52 reboot of the Justice League he is missing. Green Arrow (who was around much before Marvel's Hawkeye was a twinkle in a comic book writer's eye) has also featured, and seems to be a good bet at the moment because the groundbreaking 'Arrow' TV series has proved very popular lately. Hawkman or Hawkgirl, or both, police officers from another planet, are also exciting characters that can be considered.
The one addition in the New 52 Justice League is Cyborg, half-man and half-machine, who has been effectively promoted from the junior club of the Teen Titans and has taken on a key role. But it takes a long time to be an iconic superhero and Cyborg can wait.
Plot. As a team, the Justice League has faced down villains of such high standing that Snyder should be spoilt for choice. There is, for instance, the intergalactic god, Darkseid, incidentally the inspiration behind Marvel's supervillain Thanos. There is the arch-intellect Brainiac who is virtually unbeatable. There is the excellent Hyperclan storyline featuring Martian superheroes with powers equaling or exceeding the League. We can go with Darkseid for the moment and there are several comic book storylines about him, such as 'Final Crisis' which can serve as source material.
What the past decade has taught us is, with the continually growing popularity of superhero movies, a combination of plot, writing and cast can convert good-but-not-great mythology into moneyspinners, and even earn critical acclaim. There is no reason for a Justice League movie to fail, unless those at the helm make a spectacular mess of things. We can only hope that Snyder and his team will get their act together, for if a League movie clicks, it will set superhero moviemaking on its ears.
Here's to 2018 and what we hope will be the movie the League has deserved for a very long time.
Original link: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/justice-league-movie-finally-on-heres-what-to-expect/468259-8-67.html