DC Entertainment: Don't Hold Your Breath for Justice League
09.22.10 by Ryan
Back in 2008, a Justice League movie was a reality, with George Miller set to direct and a cast in place that included Adam Brody as The Flash and Common as The Green Lantern. The characters of Superman and Batman were also included, but instead of Brandon Routh and Christian Bale in the roles, newcomers D.J. Cotrona and Armie Hammer were to play the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, respectively. A lot has happened in the two years since, contributing to the latest update.
The 2007-2008 Writer's Strike slowed down production, and while Brody admitted the cast were assembled in Australia for the shoot, with Brody able to try on a preliminary costume, the production was eventually shut down. While Miller admitted he was still attached to the Justice League movie in March of 2009, the success of The Dark Knight seemed to direct studio Warner Bros. that it should follow Marvel Studios' example and create individual movies for the superhero characters before putting them all together into one movie, as Marvel is planning in the upcoming The Avengers.
With the formation of DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. created a division to maintain its comic book properties, but president Diane Nelson told IGN that the studio won't mirror Marvel's strategy.
People make an assumption that we're going to mirror Marvel's strategy, for example with Avengers. We do have a very different attitude about how you build a content slate. And it isn't necessarily about connecting those properties together to build into a single thing. We think we've got great stories and characters that will lend themselves to great standalone experiences, and that's the way we're focusing on it.
Nelson admitted that she enjoys the competition Marvel represents, but that it's a misconception to assume that DC is looking at Marvel as a model.
You know, it's funny.... I really enjoy the healthy competition that exists but also the competition that people assume and, to some extent, project onto us. There is a healthy competition as there would be in any business. But we do not spend our days thinking about what Marvel is doing. Listen, I've said before, the success of Marvel, or any publisher, is good for us, and ours for them. We want to support the retail business together and there are a lot of things we can do together. But there is not a single thing we've done that has been reactive to Marvel from the creation of DC Entertainment to today. People can speculate, but they are wrong.
It may be hard to believe that DC won't follow Marvel's model, especially if The Avengers becomes the success that Marvel hopes. With DC launching Green Lantern next year with a sequel already in the works, not to mention the Green Lantern writers prepping a Flash movie, it looks like DC is trying to sell audiences on the individual characters before trying to put them together in a single movie.
While that sounds pretty much exactly like Marvel's plan, it's worth remembering Christopher Nolan's influence. The director is still in charge of the Batman franchise and is set to produce a reboot of Superman. There's little hope the characters will intervene like Marvel's. Nolan admitted in June that he wouldn't bring both characters together, saying
Marvel are doing what they are doing and people will either respond to that really well or they won't. You've got to go back to that element of "What do I see when I close my eyes and think of Batman/Superman?" And for me a big part of that is their individuality.
A Justice League movie without both of those characters would no doubt be a disappointment to fans, and considering the success Nolan has had with DC characters, it's doubtful that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are going to challenge Nolan anytime soon.