The Justice League – Set To Fail?

After years of stops and starts there has finally been a definite green light given to a Justice League movie, DC’s equivalent of Marvel’s Avengers, set for the summer of 2015. It’s not surprising really, with The Avengers (2012) and all it’s affiliated films doing outrageously well with still more to come can you blame them? However, where the Marvel films are breaking box office records it looks like as DC take their turn it will just be a flop.

Let’s examine the characters.

Superman – The head of the Justice League. His revival is coming in the form of Man of Steel (2013) and all looks promising so far. Like many superhero characters now they are taking him a darker route and giving him a more formidable opponent. My problem with Superman is he is just too powerful, although reports from the film say he will be more flawed. Good move. Also nobody is sure whether new Superman Henry Cavill has even been touted about a possible Justice League team up. Its important that Warner Bros get this film right first before they start worrying about a wider DC universe.

Batman – Probably the favourite of all superheroes, period. Normally I would say you can’t go wrong, but The Dark Knight Rises (2012) is released in under a month to end an epic trilogy that won’t easily be trumped. Plus he will be re-cast, just a couple of years after Nolan finished up his work, this is surely going to damage the character. There was talk in 2008 of The Social Network’s Armie Hammer playing the caper crusader in The Justice League but Warner Bros opted not to have two actors playing the same character at the same time in seperate movies.

Green Lantern – That was a flop. Ryan Reynolds will be reprising his role and will be getting a sequeal despite how badly Green Lantern (2011) did both at the box office and as a film in general. The lack of imagination in a character who can create anything with his ring but uses Earthly weapons is a huge turn off. Though in the comics he is now gay, could be an edge that hasn’t been worked before.

Lobo – Set to be the second film after Superman, he is an alien interstellar mercenary, kind of like an over the top Wolverine in his anti-hero ways but no where near as cool. The stand alone film is set to take place off Earth before he arrives here to join the Justice League.

The Flash – A much loved character but let’s face it, there isn’t much you can do with him. In the Justice League movie he can provide some decent slow motion play, but Superman has that power and so much more rendering Flash a bit pointless. And as for his stand alone film, can’t imagine we’ll be gifted gold.

Wonder Woman – This could be interesting, a female power house kicking arse and championing equality. If she is brought up to date well enough, this could be a good film and edition to the collective. Sadly though she seems to have the same scriptwriter who penned Green Lantern. And there has even been talk of Drive (2011) director Nicolas Winding Refn teaming up with Christina Hendricks and developing their very own brand of Wonder Woman. It might be intersting to see what Refn would do but then again how would an uber- violent super woman tie in with a Justice League ensemble?

Aquaman – Now, we know the above characters will be making an appearance, we don’t know if this one will. However, I can not go without acknowledging how useless he is and how abysmal both his contribution to the collective film and a stand alone film for him would be.

So it seems we have this to look forward to, Man of Steel next year, Lobo in 2014, Justice League in 2015, The Batman and Wonder Woman for 2016 and The Flash in 2017. DC have announced they want to release two films a year, so there are obviously some gaps here; it is also early days yet so things can and probably will move about.

I’ll leave you with a quote from writer and director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon:

It’s enormously difficult to take very disparate characters and make them work. And DC has a harder time with it than Marvel because their characters are from a bygone era. Their characters were bigger than we were. They’ve amended that but Marvel really cracked the code in terms of ‘Oh, they’re just like us.’ A dose of that sort of veracity that Marvel really started with Iron Man, I think you need to use that as a base.”

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