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And So It Begins

It’s Official: Justice League & Avengers 2 Fight It Out In Theaters In 2015

It’s either the dumbest or the bravest decision in Hollywood (*cough*dumbest*cough*) – Warner Bros. has announced the release date for their Justice League film. 2015. The same year The Avengers sequel is released. I have a feeling there’s a lot of arm flailing going on in the Warners offices. And not that awesome Kermit kind. 

I just…what? I think Warner Bros. needs an intervention. Or at least a good event planner.

It’s one thing to pit superhero film against superhero film, we saw that this past summer with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, but those are two very different beasts. Putting a completely unknown (and by unknown I mean, they really still don’t know what they’re doing with it) superhero team film up against the sequel to a record-breaking team film that galvanized audiences is a terrible idea.

I suppose the argument could be made that simply saying their film  will be released the same year as The Avengers 2 will get people talking about it more and that’s free press but I really don’t think something with the name “Justice League” on it really needs that.

Of course it is interesting timing Warner Bros. decided to make this announcement a day after their big win in the Superman legal battle. It may be a little “shouting from the rooftops” moment but we’re not even sure what’s going to happen with Superman as he relates to the Justice League. It would be really weird not to have him included in the film but if Henry Cavill and Man of Steel don’t work out, are they willing to find another worthy contender to take up the mantle on such short notice? Or will they say screw Cavill, screw audiences being confused by two Supermans, we’re just going to cast someone else for Justice League. The possibilities are annoyingly all over the map.

But what does this mean for all the other DC Comics properties already in some stage of production? What’s Warners plan? Do they even have one or are they simply throwing darts and hoping another one lands on bullseye (no, not that Bullseye)?

All we know about the Justice League project at the moment is Will Beall is writing the script. Let’s just cross our fingers they don’t place the release dates within in the same month. Right now I’m hoping someone over there can be the voice of reason and come up with something solid before DC’s film properties get a reputation. Oh wait…

(via MTV Splash Page)

Previously in Comic Adaptations

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  • Anonymous

    Probably an unpopular opinion (or popular considering this article seems to agree with me) but I would sincerely rather wait a few years and have time and care put into establishing DC’s shared universe rather than a movie thrown together for a cash grab—which is what this feels like.

    As much as I have trepidation over Zack Snyder, I am actually looking forward to seeing what happens with Man of Steel next June and I’m interested in exploring a Superman franchise in HIS world in Metropolis for a while in the same way that we did with Batman.

    In addition, I’d like to see a legitimate origin story told with care and concern for Wonder Woman. I don’t want her to just be thrown into a team movie where she’s going to arguably be treated as the “hot girl” in the bunch and probably wind up getting more attention for her bathing suit costume than for who she is as a stand alone hero.

    The last Green Lantern movie was terrible but I think they could improve it with the right attitude going forward.

    I want a Justice League movie. But I also want it done right. And this just feels like a cash grab.

    The other thing people keep forgetting is that Warner Bros. did not win the Superman lawsuit outright yet. The Siegel estate still owns 50% of the copyright. The Siegels WON. They always had the stronger claim over the Shuster estate. Now, it’s possible that this victory may encourage WB to try and come to terms with the Siegels and stop the fighting. Perhaps they will finally make the settlement offer that they arguably should have made years ago and give the Siegels what they are owed under the law. But it’s not over yet.

  • Sabreman

    Whoever loses, we win.

    (And the Avengers win. {g})

  • TKS

    I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how this could be not the popular opinion.

    I think most fans would agree with you. quality > expediency.

  • Anonymous

    WB has no idea what to do with their property. They’ve had the DC characters for years and the only good franchise they managed to make was Batman, which sounds more and more like a fluke as the years go on.
    They’re doing the Justice League for one reason only: they saw the success of the Avengers and they want to surf on that wave. They will probably release their film right before so the gap in quality doesn’t become apparent.

  • Anonymous

    You’d think. But you’d be surprised. There are a lot of people out there who don’t seem to understand just ::why:: the Avengers made so much money and why it was so well-received. I think alot of people also really don’t consider how important it is to preserve these individual franchises going forward.

    You’d think it wouldn’t be an unpopular opinion but depending on who you are talking to…

  • Anonymous

    I think the new 52, in many ways, is an example of how confused WB is with what to do with their properties. They throw things against the wall to see what will stick.

    The Superman franchise has a chance of being a good franchise going forward. It has a CHANCE. But it could easily fail if the vision becomes clouded going forward.

    One of the key thing about Avengers was that it was an amazing hero team-up film that didn’t disturb any of the individual franchises in any ways that made it difficult to develop the individual stories going forward. That’s going to be a challenge for WB. How do you introduce characters and icons like Wonder Woman and not do something that is going to make it difficult to carry a franchise going forward of her own? The same goes for CASTING. The kind of actor who can make it work in a TEAM movie where they have less to do is not always the same actor who can CARRY A FRANCHISE on their own in solo films. The Avengers knew that their actors could carry solo films and not just ensembles. WB will be untested in that regard with the exception of Cavill. (And jury is still out if Cavill can carry a franchise. He was great on The Tudors but his more recent action runs have been less than stellar.)

  • Anonymous

    Even then, consider that the first actor cast for the Avengers was Robert Downey Jr. and compare that to Cavill. I love Hemsworth and Evans but Downey, Jackson and Johansson have a certain “weight” that make this type of film possible. If they cast Arnie Hammer as Batman like the rumor says the might, the franchise is doomed before it starts.

  • Lady Viridis

    Wow, this IS a terrible plan.

    Marvel spent the better part of a *decade* building up their movie properties. Which was a brilliant move, because all the characters were set up in those movies, and the idea of SHIELD and a team effort was also seeded in, meaning that the only thing that needed to be set up was a plot and then throw all the characters together. Even if you hadn’t seen all the movies, it was likely you’d seen at least one or two, and Avengers gave you enough info to get a general feel for the characters you were less familiar with. And of course, once you saw Avengers, you were probably going to go out and immediately see/buy any movies you hadn’t already. It was marketing genius and I think Avengers would have done well even if it had been a weaker movie and not the amazing fun romp that it was.

    By contrast, DC has only really successfully sold us Batman, and it’s not like that version of Batman can be involved in the Justice League. For one, I’m pretty sure Superman and the other superheroes don’t exist in the Nolan verse, or they’d have been huge dicks for ignoring the plight of Gotham during Dark Knight Rises. So, you have to sell audiences on a NEW version of Batman, a version of Superman who may or may not do well in that new movie… plus, what, at least three or four other characters who all have to be explained? People are familiar enough with Wonder Woman, but characters like Martian Manhunter or Green Lantern are much less well-known. And then you have to sell us on them as a team, AND then include a plot. It’s a tricky gambit to pull off even with all the preparation and build-up Marvel did. I don’t think DC has a chance.

  • Anonymous

    Well, let me be clear…I think there is a very good chance Henry Cavill is going to be a good Superman. He was very, very good on The Tudors. But it’s going to come down to script. The problem is..he does very well in more quiet moments. I think he will be a good CLARK. But his last few action movies have done very poorly and he hasn’t been great in them. So I think the key with him is…you have to let him by CLARK. He can’t just be Superman all the time. But again, look at the rest of the cast for Man of Steel. Look at the actress they cast opposite Cavill. They cast a 3 time (4 as of this year?) Oscar Nominee opposite him who is known for stealing every movie she’s in. People love her. So if Henry struggles…Amy (And people like Russell Crowe/Michael Shannon) can carry the film. But Henry IS a good actor. He’s arguably at his best when he’s just acting and not in all the action scenes.

    Arnie Hammer isn’t a terrible actor. He was solid in the Social Network. But I see your point.

    I also worry about who they will cast as Wonder Woman. Again, you have to cast someone who is capable of potentially carrying a FRANCHISE going forward. And I fear that they are going to focus on the physical so much for casting Wonder Woman that we aren’t going to get a serious actress in the role. Nothing personal to someone like Gina Carano, but she doesn’t have the acting presence or talent to carry a franchise going forward on her own.

    But I think you make good points about the weight of people like Downey and Samuel L. Jackson carrying films. I fear that might be the issue here going forward.

  • Anonymous

    Just to make sure we understand each other: I have no opinion one way or the other about Henry Cavill and wish him nothing but the best as Superman and any other part he plays. It’s fun to discover new talent I didn’t know existed. When I compared him to Chris Hemsworth, it wasn’t disrepectful because I don’t think any A-List actor could have done as well as he did with Thor(Brad Pitt maybe?). But the talent of an actor and his “weight” (or his prestige, if you prefer) are two different things. An Avengers movie is a tough sell to make if Chris Hemsworth is the biggest name and I’m afraid WB is gonna realize that, popular characters or not, they need somebody like Christian Bale for their Justice League movie. The movie would look completely different with him in it.

  • Anonymous

    Oh…I completely understand and I agree with you 100%.

    This would have been an easier sell with Christian Bale because Bale isn’t just known for Batman. Bale is and was a famous, talented actor prior to the Batman franchise and has an Academy Award. If Bale was still in place as Batman…this would be an entirely different conversation. Agree 100% there.

    Right now? I’m honestly more interested in seeing how Man of Steel turns out. I love Amy Adams. I think she’s brilliant in pretty much every film and I’m kind of dying to see her as Lois Lane now.

    Don’t get me wrong..I like JLA stories. But I also really just love the individual worlds of these characters. I love their supporting casts. Some of that ::is:: lost when you get the huge team-up because it then becomes about them showing off for each other/fighting each other etc.

    As much as I loved and enjoyed Avengers, for example, I think Captain America on it’s own is a more moving, touching film with a deeper message etc.

    But you and I are on the same page here.

  • Anonymous

    You know, I agree that people know who Wonder Woman is just from brand recognition. But man, the general public just often has ZERO CLUE what she is really about. Heck, even the people at DC Comics don’t see to have a clue 99% of the time what she is actually here for and how to use her. Wonder Woman of all characters is one of the ones that I personally think needs a really good franchise and serious attention paid to her franchise. They need a really good actress in the role. (Not just a woman who looks good in the costume. AN ACTRESS.) If WB was smart they would work on really educating people on who Diana really is first and foremost.

  • Anonymous

    I love Amy Adams and Michael Shannon is suitably creepy in … well, everything he does, really. Only my distaste for Zack Snyder prevent me to be excited about MoS.
    As for team vs. single hero stories, when they announced Marvel was creating his own studio and that an Avengers movie was an objective at one point, my first reaction was “meh”. They hadn’t released Iron Man yet and the concept of a superhero team never excited me to begin with. The X-Men and the Fantastic Four had some truly terrific moments in their existence but they were being teams full-time. Reed Richards needs Sue and Cyclops needs a team to lead. The Avengers and the Justice League on the other hand felt like crossovers to me. Batman facing the Joker was epic; Batman in JL facing a bunch of aliens, not so much. Marvel studios had the right approach for people like me: showing who those people were individually and making me care about them in separate films first. It’s because I knew about those characters already that the Avengers worked for me.
    WB is gonna try to reboot every single character not named Superman in the same film and might have to give an origin story to its villain as well. I don’t think it can be done honestly.

  • Anonymous

    Michael Shannon is a scary dude. Amy Adams turns pretty much everything she touches into gold. I’m not sure if you saw “The Master” but she was scary in it. Her performance in “The Fighter” though was what really convinced me she was the best choice to play Lois. She was totally raw and yet still warm. I agree with you that Snyder is a concern. I just keep hoping that the good cast they have assembled will make the absolute best of it to deliver some kind of truth to the film. I also think, for better or worse, that Snyder KNOWS the criticism he gets and I think he wants to be taken seriously. So we will see.

    I think you are dead on in your commentary about the strategy here. The thing is…WB’s characters do have huge brand recognition already. But brand recognition isn’t the same thing as truly knowing who the people are. I use Wonder Woman as an example. The average person knows WHO Wonder Woman is but very few people actually understand her or her mission. Even within DC Comics, there is a huge chunk of people who do. not. get. her. (See the current treatment of the character in many respects for proof of that) She’s one of those characters that I think really needs her own movie so that people can learn who she actually is as opposed to the stereotype of who they THINK she is.

    We shall see. WB is going to do what they want to do. And I guess we are all just along for the ride.

    Also, another crappy thing is that if JL is their next film…that potentially means we won’t see a sequel for Man of Steel (if the movie is good) until 2016 or 2017. Compare that to Marvel where the sequels seem to be hitting theaters 2 years after the first one which seems to be a good strategy. Amazing Spider-Man sequel is also hitting theaters 2 years after original hit. But it appears we could have to wait 4-5 years now for a Superman sequel if this is their strategy.

  • Mark Brown

    Of course, if DC actually WAS as clever and daring as they think they are, they’d just give us a full-length, theatrical budget, animated Young Justice movie. . .

  • you guys

    If they were daring they’d drop Superman. Superman isn’t the vanilla ice cream of superheroes, he’s the unflavored ice cream of superheroes.

  • Sophie

    I think a Wonder Woman film would have great potential right now. There’s a real popularity for action stories with women at the moment that Marvel are just ignoring, and the bleak social outlook for women means that people are craving a certain amount of feminism in their entertainment (or at least I certainly am). It’s a shame that Hollywood tends to be such a backwards old goat that most of its writers and director’s can’t even grasp the basics of feminist theory, let alone create a film with major feminist themes as Wonder Woman would have to be. As an aside Wonder Woman’s original origin is my favourite and I would love to see a film that did it justice.

  • Anonymous

    Speak for yourself. Superman is my favorite male hero and I wouldn’t see a JL movie without him.

  • Anonymous

    I would be more inclined to see a Justice League movie that ONLY contained lesser known heroes (like Zatanna, Power Girl, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Cyborg, Fire, Big Barda and Miracle Man) than for them to go to early with Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman.

    Doing it any other way would definitely fall under “too soon”

  • Jonathan Hagenbuch

    That Marvel is ignoring? Marvel has tons of female characters. It’s just that they’re trying to produce films on their most popular characters first (which happen to be males because many more males read comics than females. Males connect better with male characters, same for females, it’s not hard to understand). And did you not notice Black Widow in the Avengers??? She had had some great lines/parts and was played very well.

  • Jonathan Hagenbuch

    Spider-Man (maybe Batman) is definitely that vanilla ice cream :) He’s the everyman!

  • Sophie

    Avengers was popular with both men and women. Women make up the half of movie goers and contribute significantly to films that top the box office, including action films.. Women currently make up the majority of the under 17 market for comics, and are not a small minority of comic book readers by any stretch of the imagination. So what you wrote in that comment was completely untrue. I did indeed notice Black Widow in the Avengers, and I thought she was awesome, but then she was passed over for an individual movie. Her male co-stars are all getting sequels despite the aforementioned popularity of ‘The Avengers’ with female film goers.
    Lastly, why are you even on this site?!