With Man of Steel on the horizon and The Dark Knight Trilogy now concluded, a Justice League movie seems like the next logical comic book film step for Warner Bros. Recent internet rumours have hinted at a possible 2015 release date, meaning it would most likely be the next superhero film at DC after Man of Steel. With the critical and commercial success of Marvel’s The Avengers, the blueprint has been laid, and a Justice League of America movie is a great idea on paper. Like a dating website profile, however, looking good on paper does not always lead to wedding bells.
Fast-tracking a live action Justice League movie is a bad idea for Warner Bros., and here is why…
5. Lack of Foundation
The summer of 2008 was a landmark year for comic book films. In May, June, and July of that year Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and The Dark Knight were released respectively. As important as The Dark Knight was for Warner. Bros., Iron Man meant even more to the future of Marvel Studios. While Warner had decades of experience releasing comic book films, Iron Man was Marvel’s first movie as a standalone studio and its success or lack thereof would certainly impact the studio’s future.
If marijuana is a gateway drug, then Marvel Studios must have been higher than Tony Stark after he first tested the altitude limits of the Iron Man suit off the response of the film. Iron Man earned a 94% Rotten Tomatoes score – identical to that of The Dark Knight – and also went on to earn over $585 million worldwide. Iron Man’s success proved that Marvel Studios could flourish with characters not named Peter Parker, and laid the groundwork for the films that would ultimately comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That universe was the foundation that would generate the audience buy-in that was necessary for The Avengers to be the box office behemoth that it was.
By comparison, a Justice League of America film would have no such foundation. Assuming the screenplay for the film includes the original seven members of the Justice League, only three members have had recent films: Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern. Unfortunately, none of those films are likely to factor in a JLA movie at all. Superman last appeared on screens in 2006′s Superman Returns. Although it was financially successful, Warner Bros. did not feel it warranted an investment in a sequel with President of Production Jeff Robinov stating in 2008, “Superman Returns didn’t quite work as a film in the way we wanted it to.” Being that Batman retired at the end of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman will not be part of a JLA film either. Finally, Green Lantern was such a critical and commercial flop that Warner Bros. will probably cut ties with Ryan Reynolds’ take on Hal Jordan also.
We are currently seeking Justice League contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a Justice League contributor, click here.