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Why A ‘Justice League’ Movie Won’t Work Right Now

Thursday 7th June 2012 by Shawn Madden

By now i’m sure everyone has heard that DC realized that Marvel did something genius with ‘The Avengers’ and have tried to get into the ring by pushing forward with a Justice League movie. Great idea right? I mean fans have been wanting this for years. But… can it work? I mean ‘The Avengers’ worked so why can’t this? Well, i’m here to burst your bubble (I apologize in advance) with the five main reasons at this point it will not work.

5. No back story for the main characters.

So lets say The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Superman, Green Lantern and Batman are the team they pick for this. Because lets be honest The Atom, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter are going to get left out. Tell me why they’re only pushing forward on a Justice League and Wonder Woman movie before fleshing out the others? I mean… some people complained that Hawkeye had no development in ‘The Avengers’ (I disagree by the way) but just throwing someone like The Flash in there? Aquaman? Okay… I won’t go see Aquaman. You have me there DC! Hawkman? Maybe. That’s fail part one DC.

4. Picking an established writer who knows how to handle something of this scale.

Look… Will Beall could be great. He could be the next big thing for all I know. But what has he done? What makes DC so sure of his guy that we should have faith in him? We were all supposed to trust Brett Ratner with ‘X3’ and we all saw how that turned out. Strike two.

3. Actors. Actors. Actors.

One of the big draw points of seeing ‘The Avengers’ (I keep referring to this because we all know this is what made DC push this project forward) was that we not only trusted the director but we trusted the actors. Minus Mark Ruffalo (who excelled as Bruce Banner) we knew these actors could pull this off and we couldn’t wait to see them together. Minus maybe one or two actors we will know nothing about this casts ability to pull off these roles. And i’ll elaborate more on this when I get to number one.

2. DC’s horrible track record and lack of attempting to establish any form of continuity.

And you would think that Warner Bros. would be making the best of these types of films yet have been disappointing to date. Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder have been DC’s saviors with the ‘Dark Knight Trilogy’, ‘Watchmen’ and hopefully ‘Man Of Steel’. But other than that? ‘Steel’? ‘Catwoman’? ‘Green Lantern’ aka the biggest let down in a comic movie in years? I’m not saying ‘Green Lantern’ was horrible. Not at all. I’m saying the script was horrible. Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strongs performances made the movie watchable. The OA scenes were fantastic. Having Amanda Waller make an appearance? Great idea. Establish Checkmate. Please. Because Geoff Johns already said he wanted a ‘Suicide Squad’ movie. This should be the jumping off for the DC universe because you can establish Checkmate like Marvel did with Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D and go from there. Will DC do this? Unlikely.

And now it’s time for the number one reason:

1. You can’t have Batman in it! Nope. You can’t!

I’m pretty sure Bale said he wouldn’t do it. And we still have NO idea how ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ ends. But even then… you throw in another actor as Batman with a background that has nothing to do with Nolans trilogy. This results in fans sitting around in a very “WTF?!” feeling. There is no way you can put Batman in here that wont either result in pissed off fans or very confused fans. And what about Superman? Will ‘Man Of Steel’ fit into a ‘Justice League’? Knowing Snyder and Nolan probably not. So lets actually take BOTH characters out. Oh wow…we’re getting the b-squad or even maybe a ‘Justice League: International”. Great. Is the average movie goer who has a kid that wear Batman tightie whities going to go see this? Eh. Maybe six days after it comes out when he has to watch the kids.

So now that i’ve come to the end I must establish that in no way am I hating on DC here. My main problem with DC has been their lack of to just establish some form of solid continuity (I mean… i’m still scared theres going to be a Flashpoint Crisis On New 52 coming) and even in their movies it is what is majorly lacking. I personally believe they should step back, take a breath and follow Marvels footsteps. Establish your characters and build a non-comic reading fanbase.

You want to push out some movies? Go after some of your dark stuff. I’d love a Swamp Thing reboot. ‘Constantine’ was great to me (Haters gon’ hate)… and there has been talk of a sequel last year. Y: The Last man? You know you want to do it.

All in all I just wish DC would just not rush things. It took us four years to get to ‘The Avengers’ and no one was mad about what it took to get us to one of the greatest comic movies of all time. Just sayin’ DC.

  • xan

    It could work if you limit the characters; essentially you got the makings of present day gangster squad. The world’s greatest detective, the universe’s supercop, a forensic cop, and a martian lawman; all bound to finding out who is this alien(into’d in MOS) causing chaos or whatever happens in snyder’s flick. It’d be nolanverse so all these characters are realistic wouldn’t even put flash in a red suit yet, and martian manhunter is shapeshifting as a human officer. have supes be charged as the source for all the alien invasions and become enemy number one. Giving these cops & bruce a mandate by the gov to get supes, only for kal to redeem himself by saving them from the gov who’s turned out to be infected by brainiac. then punch fanboys in the gut have brainiac kill supes w/ corben. end with the jl defeating the sentient military drones.
    but non of this will happen they’ll just update the youngjustice script they had and force it thru.

  • I believe Eric wrote this after the Avengers came out so I may just be reiterating, but I think DC has a distinct advantage in that they don’t need to give backstories for the whole team. Everyone knows who Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are. They probably know Aquaman, Flash, and Green Lantern (especially after last year’s movie) as well. Instead of making all of these individual films make one huge film and then spin-off the breakout characters from there. If Aquaman is handled anything like he is in the NEw 52 he’ll stand out for sure, as will Flash.

    Speaking of the New 52, that Darkseid arc was pretty damn good and is the perfect jumping on point for a Justice League script. Sure it would need to be tightened up a bit, but it is very film able and though it may feel a bit like an Avengers ripoff the characters are far from it. It’s time for DC to show Marvel who’s super hero team came first.

  • Stephen just went on record as being the only person who liked the Darkseid story arc (or Geoff Johns’ JLA).

  • SydeffeX

    Think about in Xmen 2 when we saw Colossus, or in Iron Man 1 when we saw a prototype of Cap’s shield. All they have to do is imply a much larger universe with a large league of heros operating elsewhere. Fans will connect the dots, and non-fans either wont care or they will be curious. Like the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, there are dozens of heros that walk in and out that we don’t know very well. It’s enough to just tell the audience, “This is a worldwide peacekeeping force of superheros.” Then the audience doesn’t need to know where Hawkman came from, just that he belongs there now.
    Nobody in the core of the Justice League needs an origin movie. DC has been around for the better part of a century, so anyone that would care to even have a passing knowledge of these heros has it already. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg or Green Lantern. There’s the center of your first league movie.

  • xan

    why’d u replaced steel w/ cyborg…? shaq’s been doing so good on insidetheNBA, talking more and enunciating his words.

  • The MAIN thing i’m trying to get across here is that it seems like DC is just pushing this out to compete with ‘The Avengers’ rather than making a quality flick. Sure you can just put The Flash or other characters in there but a good movie has characters you care about. Creating a backstory and developing those characters first is what makes you care about them. I didnt give a fuck about Collosus in the X-movies. I’m not being a Marvel fanboy but if you can honestly say they aren’t pushing this forward due to ‘The Avengers’ you’re tripping. They should take a hint and START at Green Lantern as a jumping off point.

  • xan

    that’s quantitating theAvengers was a quality movie, it’ll be just as superlative, spaceWhales

  • Stephen Prescott

    And what I’m saying is most norms already care about the original 7 from the Justice League so DC has got that on their side. They don’t need individual films to get them to care. Marvel didn’t have that luxury. The common movie goer had no idea who Iron Man, Thor or to a lesser extent Captain America were until their movies came out.

    I have a Justice League decal on my computer that has the outlines of the team from the animated series and I would bet 9 out of 10 kids could name almost everyone on it. Ask them to point out Thor before that film last year and it would be a vastly different story.

    And yes Jonathan, it feels good to come out of that closet.

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