The Justice League is one of those strange entities where, despite having no real confirmation about pretty much anything, we still keep hearing news. If you’re curious about the Justice League movie, here’s the gist so far. A script written by Will Beall has been around for months now and as far back as six months ago Warner Bros were on the look out for a director. And that was it; that and a release date of 2015 (to rival Avengers 2).
Way back in August, Warner Bros were gearing up to talk to Ben Affleck to see if he would direct it. The biggest problem with news stories at such an early stage is that a lot of rumours come from very different sources. There were other suggestions for possible directors, including Brett Ratner and the Wachowskis, but the one thing that quickly became clear was that Ben Affleck wasn’t going to do it. Whether this was because of the script, or time issues or the simple fact he didn’t want to, is unclear.
A reporter at the Latino Review went on to Twitter today (February 8th) to announce that when this was going on, Warner Bros also wanted him to play Batman.
This was following yesterday’s (February 7th) news that Will Beall’s script, the one constant through all of this, has been scrapped. This news comes from multiple sources but again, there’s no official confirmation. The rumours are that the script is just bad, though that could be the fault of studio executives requesting constant changes, including swapping out superheroes for different ones.
Of course all of this could become moot if Man of Steel fails at the box office. Variety reported the following:
Stakes are high for “Man of Steel.” Other than Nolan’s Batpics, Warners has not been able to effectively exploit the DC library. Its 2011 “Green Lantern” underperformed, and a “Justice League” film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of “Man of Steel,” which opens June 14, before moving further ahead.
This makes sense, but let’s just compare this to its nearest comic book rival. Joss Whedon was brought on to The Avengers roughly two years before its release and he’s mentioned before that it was a mad rush to the finish. And that was after other people had been involved on the project since Iron Man. Kevin Feige, for instance, has been watching over the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning.
Even if Warner Bros decides to move forward in June of this year, reaching that 2015 release date will be a struggle. It’s doable but is it enough time to make something great? It’s definitely possible but Justice League isn’t an ordinary film. It’s a big, blockbuster, special effects laden, ensemble superhero movie, which means it’s going to take some work.
Mark Millar (consultant for Fox’s Marvel movies) has caused a bit of fury amongst the geek community this week. In an interview with SciFiNow he told them his reasoning for why he thought a Justice League movie wouldn’t work and claimed it was “a good way to lose $200 million”. He felt that some of the characters were a little old fashioned and that heroes like the Flash and Aquaman wouldn’t translate to the big screen very well.
The thing is that we are now in a point in cinematic history where anything can be made. The Lord of the Rings had been called un-filmable, but ten years ago Peter Jackson proved them wrong. Only this year, the Wachowskis turned something as complex as Cloud Atlas into something cinematically beautiful. So to say that a good Justice League movie is impossible is just naive.
So what exactly is the problem with the Justice League? At the moment the answer really has to be Warner Bros. Rumours have floated around for months without any official confirmation on anything and they just can’t seem to get their act together. The general impression is that Warner Bros is in it for the money. They saw the $1.5 billion gross that Avengers Assemble had and dollar signs started to float in front of their eyes.
If you want to know who’s controlling Justice League at the moment, just imagine a table full of studio executives asking themselves what’s likely to make the most money. Until someone comes in that actually cares about the material, then it’s probably doomed to be made in whichever way seems to be the most profitable rather than what’s best for the story.